New Funding from the Federal Government to Preserve and Celebrate Indigenous Heritage in British Columbia

News release

VANCOUVER, August 28, 2019

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, today announced investments totalling $738,108 for museums, heritage institutions, cultural centres and First Nations throughout British Columbia that are working to preserve, protect, promote and celebrate tangible and intangible Indigenous heritage.

Funding has been provided through four components of the Museums Assistance Program (MAP): Aboriginal Heritage, Access to Heritage, Collections Management and the Exhibition Circulation Fund.

This support will benefit 11 organizations all across the province, including the British Columbia Museums Association, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council and the U’mista Cultural Society (see the attached backgrounder for more details). The funding includes an investment of $14,300 for the Sidney Museum and Archives on Vancouver Island, which is hosting a travelling exhibit about Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George. The exhibit explores the life and legacy of Chief Dan George, and his influence as an Indigenous rights advocate and activist.

The MAP supports heritage institutions and workers in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections. The program fosters the preservation of Indigenous culture and facilitates access to heritage collections for all Canadians. It also promotes professional knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions.

Museums Assistance Program

City Organization Project Component Fiscal Year Amount
Alert Bay U’mista Cultural Society Boas-Hunt Travelling Temporary Exhibition Project Aboriginal Heritage 2018–2019 $29,888
Alert Bay U’mista Cultural Society Collections Database and Policy Upgrade Aboriginal Heritage 2019–2020 $40,000
Barriere Simpcw First Nation Simpcw Exhibit at Valemount Museum Aboriginal Heritage 2019–2020 $75,650
Bella Bella Heiltsuk Tribal Council Sacred Journey Travelling Exhibit Aboriginal Heritage 2019–2020 $40,000
Mount Currie Lil’wat7ul Lil’wat7ul Cultural Exhibit Centre Aboriginal Heritage 2018–2019 $40,000
New Aiyansh Nisga’a Lisims Government Healing Ways: Nisga’a Wild Medicine Aboriginal Heritage 2018–2019 $45,000
Sidney Sidney Museum and Archives Society Chief Dan George Exhibit Exhibition Circulation Fund 2019–2020 $14,300
Squirrel Cove Klahoose First Nation It’s Good to See You: The Journey Home Aboriginal Heritage 2019–2020 $46,209

Museum of Anthropology

(University of British Columbia)

Indigenous Internship Pilot Project Aboriginal Heritage 2019–2021 $147,270
Vancouver Vancouver Museum Society Indigenous Collections Storage Upgrade Collections Management 2019–2020 $43,043
Vancouver Vancouver Museum Society There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children's Art from Indian Residential and Day School Exhibition Circulation Fund 2019–2020 $15,000
Victoria The British Columbia Museums Association Indigenous Engagement Toolbox and Key Resources: Guiding Principles for Creative and Respectful Collaborations Collections Management 2019–2020 $40,823
Victoria Royal British Columbia Museum Our Living Languages Travelling Exhibition Access to Heritage 2019–2020 $160,925
TOTAL: $738,108


“As our government has affirmed time and again, no relationship is more important to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. Our commitment to this relationship is all-encompassing, and includes promoting, safeguarding and celebrating the history, art, traditions and cultures of Indigenous Peoples in meaningful and accessible ways. Earlier this summer, I was proud to announce that the Indigenous Languages Act had received Royal Asset. This was a historic milestone on our journey of reconciliation. The investments announced today demonstrate our commitment to continuing on this path. Through museums, exhibits and cultural experiences across British Columbia, we will help communities tell stories, both old and new, that help honour and share Indigenous culture and tradition.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“The Sidney Museum was keen to bring the travelling exhibit Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist to our community, which is situated on the traditional territory of four First Nations. The exhibit includes information on the challenge to establish First Nations’ rights in Canada, the work and advocacy of Chief Dan George, and the culture and history of local Indigenous Peoples. It has had many significant impacts, including plans to include permanent First Nations exhibits within the Sidney Museum, and ongoing work towards reconciliation and repatriation of artifacts. The exhibit has also allowed the museum to build a closer relationship with the four First Nations, a relationship we will continue to nurture and develop after the conclusion of the exhibit. Our ability to host the Chief Dan George exhibit would not have been possible without the incredible support from Canadian Heritage through the Museums Assistance Program. Thanks to this funding, hundreds of visitors have learned about and have been involved in the process of reconciliation. It has also been a transformative event for our museum.”

—Peter Garnham, Executive Director, Sidney Museum and Archives Society

Quick facts

  • The Museums Assistance Program provides funding through five main components: Access to Heritage, Collections Management, the Exhibition Circulation Fund, Aboriginal Heritage and the Canada–France Agreement.

  • The Access to Heritage component provides funding to heritage organizations for travelling exhibitions in Canada, to promote access to heritage across different geographic regions.

  • The Exhibition Circulation Fund assists museums with the costs related to the hosting of travelling exhibitions originating from another museum or from a federal heritage institution, and the borrowing of artifacts from the Canadian Museum of History or the Canadian War Museum.

  • The Aboriginal Heritage component supports the preservation, presentation and management of Canada's Indigenous cultural heritage. It also promotes public awareness and understanding of the diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Collections Management provides funding for projects to improve knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: