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Royal B.C. Museum to be imminently gutted in the name of 'decolonization'

SeaKingTacco

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Well this thing happened last year, which was bad for business on a variety of levels. They seem to be trying to play 'catch up':

Ripping the band-aid off: Resignations and repatriations on the road to museum decolonization​


The Royal British Columbia Museum’s decolonization journey took a personal turn in the summer of 2020.

That’s when Lucy Bell, a Haida woman and the inaugural head of the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department, decided that after working there for three-and-a-half years, she had to quit.

And that she was going to make a speech on the way out.

“I’m going to rip the band-aid off and I hope that you have the patience and the love and the understanding to sit with me and listen,” says Bell in a video of her speech which was attended in-person and virtually. “I don’t think they knew what I was going to say, but I felt I could feel it kind of bubbling up in me.

“And I just really felt like I needed to address it and I needed to speak my own truth. So I just – in my speech, I thanked my colleagues for my learning, for the experience, but I also spoke to some of the examples where I was really hurt.”


There are layers even beyond that. Alot of First Nations want their stuff back, which would gut most of the exhibits. Some in the RBCM were opposed to repatriating items to people/factions, just because they claimed ownership. Things got ugly. People got accused of racism. So, now it looks like they mean to burn down the entire human history of BC, as a solution.
 

Remius

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When I visited the Vatican a few years ago the tour guide there explained that the current pope was either selling or giving away to museums many artifacts that were stolen and or acquired over the centuries. Pretty much anything that wasn’t Roman Catholic. Plenty of folks there being upset about it. But the pope’s thinking was if it has nothing to do with their history and culture why have it. And keep it locked up in a vault.

Most museums only display a small percentage of their artifacts. I wonder how much stuff this museum would have in storage?
 

daftandbarmy

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There are layers even beyond that. Alot of First Nations want their stuff back, which would gut most of the exhibits. Some in the RBCM were opposed to repatriating items to people/factions, just because they claimed ownership. Things got ugly. People got accused of racism. So, now it looks like they mean to burn down the entire human history of BC, as a solution.

There are some First Nations in BC that want the museum to hold onto, and preserve and care for, their artifacts as they know they don't have the facilities to do so properly.

All the public facing attractions are of secondary importance to their mandate, which is:

Mandate from Enabling Statute​

The Museum Act (2003) sets out the purposes, powers and governance of the Royal BC Museum, establishing it as a Crown corporation. Under the Act, the Corporation is responsible for the provincial museum, the provincial archives, Helmcken House, Thunderbird Park, Mungo Martin Big House (Wawadit’la), St Ann’s Schoolhouse and the Netherlands Centennial Carillon. Under Section 4 of the Museum Act, the purposes of the Corporation are:

(a) to secure, receive and preserve specimens, artifacts and archival and other materials that illustrate the natural or human history of British Columbia;
(b) to hold and manage the archives of the government;
(c) to increase and communicate knowledge of the natural and human history of British Columbia by research, exhibits, publications and other means;
(d) to serve as an educational organization;
(e) to develop exhibits that are of interest to the public;
(f) to manage, conserve and provide access to the collection;
(g) on the request of the government, to manage cultural and heritage facilities designated by the government;
(h) to perform functions usually performed by a museum and archives.

Although its main buildings are in Victoria, the Royal BC Museum reaches every region of the province through its website, exhibitions and services, and is responsible to all British Columbians.

 

Humphrey Bogart

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The aztecs were quite advanced and the Haida as well as the Mohawk confederacy were other examples of large alliances of tribes with complex trading routes and political systems.

People always think that indegenous peoples fought in small war parties and raids but that was all an adaptation to take on European warfare. Prior to, pitched battles, palisaded cities and villages, shields and armour and formation warfare was a thing.

Significant metal working clearly being a significant missing element though. It wasn’t unheard of but the purposes were different. One theory is the lack of trainable draught animals in the Americas. So things like plows and transportation of goods and as such DEMAND for metal objects that were used in Europe never happened. Most metal working was decorative and not really of any practical use. Note that Australia also had a lack of trainable draught animals.

It’s an interesting that the lack of trained draught animals could have that sort of impact. Iron working wouldn’t have happened without bronze working and bronze working was impacted by animals being put to use as transportation and trade tools.

I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons. Climate being one I would guess. The Haida had armour that could stop bullets but it wasn’t metal. Their armour would have been better suited for the climate and the types of weapons they would have faced,

Anyways, it’s an interesting subject.
It's true, some of the Battles between the Spanish Empire and Indigenous involved thousands of Aztec Warriors.

Even many Battles during the numerous "Indian Wars" were very large battles.
 

Kirkhill

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Define 'colonize'.

Most indigenous - and other human - cultures have been wiped out, or enslaved by other competing cultures, at one time or another.

(And then the fight started) ;)

And that includes successive invasions of the British Islands, the Dene onslaught on the Basket Weavers of New Mexico and the Inuit assaults on the Dorset Eskimo and the Vikings. And a little bit of Haida slaving.
 

daftandbarmy

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And that includes successive invasions of the British Islands, the Dene onslaught on the Basket Weavers of New Mexico and the Inuit assaults on the Dorset Eskimo and the Vikings. And a little bit of Haida slaving.

Or when 'sheep ate men' .... ;)
 

Kirkhill

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Another issue is that Hunter-Gatherer densities are much lower than agriculturalist densities. The northern tribes/nations were largely hunter-gatherers. They lost out to the farmers from the south that brought their beans, squash and corn with them - and their forts to defend their gardens.

The hunter-gatherers weren't so much killed off as out-bred by their competitors.

On the other hand, people living in large communities, like the fort dwelling farmers were likely more prone to infection.
 

daftandbarmy

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Sorry. I'm slow on the uptake. ???

Highland Clearances​


 

Kirkhill

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Highland Clearances​



Gotcha. Thanks. As I said. Slow on the uptake, me. :giggle:
 

Furniture

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Thanks to a million YouTube rabbit holes about ancient civilizations I've found myself wondering where the First Nations would be if colonization would have never happened.
Short answer, still millennia behind Europe and Asia... They were stone aged when Europe was in the middle of the industrial revolution.

Lack of exposure to outside influences would have left North America open to colonization by whatever bronze age+ civilization that decided to make a go of it. That it was white Europeans, rather than Asians is entirely due to the geography of the planet, not an innate "white" evil.
 

Kat Stevens

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Short answer, still millennia behind Europe and Asia... They were stone aged when Europe was in the middle of the industrial revolution.

Lack of exposure to outside influences would have left North America open to colonization by whatever bronze age+ civilization that decided to make a go of it. That it was white Europeans, rather than Asians is entirely due to the geography of the planet, not an innate "white" evil.
Heretic!
 

Jarnhamar

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It's true, some of the Battles between the Spanish Empire and Indigenous involved thousands of Aztec Warriors.
Looks like the siege and capture of Tenochtitlan in 1521 signaled the end of the Aztec empire. It looks like Cortes had 800 conquistadors and tens of thousands of locals.


If local FN communities want their items back from the museum then it should be given back to them. It may be a double edged sword though.
Colonization is a part of FN history just like it's apart of ours. Deleting evidence of it might not result in the desired effect.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I'm not exactly sure to whom you're referring, but the 'guy' who is destroying the Old Town section of the museum without first preparing a coherent plan to replace it is us - the people of BC as represented by our elected officials and civil servants.

As pointed out in this recent letter to the Editor (below), ironically, amongst other gross errors of leadership this effort seems to be hurting the people it intends to help. So, once again, BC has taken careful aim at an issue and shot itself in both feet. We are an excellent example to not follow.

You're welcome ;)
I can find no place telling me that CEO Daniel Muzyka was elected to the position by the voters. Perhaps you meant he was appointed in a decision made by those you elected. Or perhaps he was hired directly by the museum and worked his way into the position? I have no dog here though, I just came across it and thought it just more than a little wacko. Mind, even after living on the Island of Cowichan Sweaters and Birkenstock Wellies, I still came away shaking my head.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Looks like the siege and capture of Tenochtitlan in 1521 signaled the end of the Aztec empire. It looks like Cortes had 800 conquistadors and tens of thousands of locals.


If local FN communities want their items back from the museum then it should be given back to them. It may be a double edged sword though.
Colonization is a part of FN history just like it's apart of ours. Deleting evidence of it might not result in the desired effect.
Yet cancelling/revising history seems to be a large part of the current fabric of North American politics.
 

Colin Parkinson

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In a few years the museum will be crying for funding as the numbers of people going drop. Even the kids I talk to are sick to death of the amount of FN culture pushed on them by the PC crowd. Very few bands have the capacity to care for artifacts and the many of those artifacts were bought or gifts.
 
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