Alberta museum returned Indigenous artifacts to Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Sep 26 2022, 6:26 pm

A museum in Alberta says it returned ownership of seven cultural artifacts from its collections to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

The Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton and the Alberta government said in a news release they are working with Indigenous leaders and communities to address past wrongs and harm done to Indigenous Peoples.

“Part of this work includes identifying and returning Indigenous cultural artifacts,” the release stated.

This return of ownership of seven objects to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) was completed under the terms of the Historical Resources Act.

“Returning culturally significant artifacts to the communities they came from is a necessary and important step towards reconciliation,” said Minister of Culture Ron Orr.

“Alberta’s government and the Royal Alberta Museum are committed to working with Indigenous communities to honour the significance of Indigenous artifacts and the stories they tell.”

The Treaty 8 medal and its leather strap were physically returned while the remaining five objects will be on loan to the Royal Alberta Museum for preservation purposes as they are large, fragile, and difficult to move.

The province says the ACFN has approved these items remaining at the museum and can choose to move these objects at any time.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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