THE CANADIAN MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RESPONDS TO MISCONCEPTIONS IN THE MEDIA

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – January 6, 2011

Misconception: There will be only 2 galleries in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), one on the Holocaust and the other on Aboriginal peoples.

Fact: There are 12 permanent zones (galleries) in the Museum.  The CMHR is committed to providing visitors with an educational and inspiring journey, exposing  people to lesser-known human rights stories told by the people who experienced them, Canadian human rights history, champions of human rights around the world, and ongoing struggles for human rights.  The CMHR will challenge visitors to stand up for human rights and provide them with some tools to take action for human rights in their community and around the world.

Find below a list of all 12 permanent zones (working titles):

  • Buhler Hall – Welcome Zone
  • Introduction to Human Rights
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Canada’s Human Rights Culture
  • The Canadian Challenge
  • The Holocaust
  • The Human Rights Revolution – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Mass Atrocity
  • Human Rights Forum
  • Human Rights Today
  • Eye on the World (Documentary photography)
  • Hall of Commitment


Misconception: The CMHR will not include a permanent display on the Holodomor. 

Fact: The Holodomor will be displayed permanently in the ‘Mass Atrocity’ zone, immediately adjacent to the Holocaust zone.  This zone will feature detailed information on the Holodomor and many other mass atrocities that have taken place worldwide, and will provide educational opportunities for visitors to learn more about these events.

Misconception: Canada’s internment operations will not be featured in the CMHR.

Fact: The internment operations of Canada in World War I and World War II that saw Canadians from many ethnic backgrounds interned, including Ukrainian-Canadians, Japanese-Canadians, Hungarian-Canadians, Italian-Canadians, German-Canadians, and many others, will be featured in the CMHR.  The zone examining Canada’s Human Rights Culture will look at human rights abuses in Canada’s past, including internment operations.  This zone will provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about these instances in history and learn from them.

Misconception: Rising construction costs have caused the budget of the Museum to escalate, and have pushed back the opening of the Museum.


Fact: The CMHR announced publicly in May 2009 that the final construction costs of the CMHR would be $310 million, and this remains accurate.  Construction of the CMHR is on schedule to be completed in 2012, with the grand opening of the CMHR slated for April 2013.  This date coincides with Manitoba’s key tourism season and provides tourism and event planners with the sufficient time necessary to market the CMHR and make Winnipeg an international choice destination.

 

Misconception: The Content Advisory Committee Report is the roadmap for CMHR exhibit planners.

 

Fact: The Content Advisory Committee’s (CAC) Final Written and Video Reports, presented to CMHR, make recommendations to the Museum for consideration.  While important, these reports are not the sole source informing the CMHR’s work. The hundreds of hours of audio and video as well as significant written materials that the CMHR gathered throughout the public engagement sessions from May 2009 to February 2010 are another source.  Ongoing public engagement is underway to ensure that the issues, stories, and ideas that are of importance to Canadians continue to be carefully considered and that research is done to tell these stories accurately. Finally, additional research is being undertaken by the CMHR’s research team, in conjunction with the input and advice of scholars and experts across the country, to develop the inaugural exhibits of the CMHR.

 

Misconception: The Board of the CMHR and the Content Advisory Committee are not equitable and should be reconstituted.

 

Fact: The Government of Canada has appointed a diversity of Canadians as Trustees to the CMHR Board.  The CMHR does not decide the makeup of this body.  The Content Advisory Committee was an ad-hoc committee, appointed by Museum management, mandated to advise the CMHR with its first public engagement process.  The term of the CAC expired in March 2010.  

 

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For more information please contact:

Angela J. Cassie
Director, Communications and Public Engagement| Directeur, Communications et Mobilisation du public
Canadian Museum for Human Rights | Musée canadien des droits de la personne
269 rue Main Street
Winnipeg (Manitoba)
R3C 1B3
T: (204) 289-2000
F: (204) 289-2001