Miranda J. Brady
This chapter explores relationships between media and Indigenous identity construction in the Canadian Museum of Civilization's (CMC) First Peoples Hall (FPH) through an analysis of place-based media and archival research. It explores the specific historical, economic, and pedagogic contexts influencing media adoption in the CMC and FPH, and argues that while the museum attempts to forward a progressive curatorial agenda through Indigenous collaboration and new media adoption, the CMC has yet to fully explore the contemporary implications of Indigenous representation. Finally, this chapter questions celebratory discourses of new media as a panacea for representational maladies and the idea of representation itself as a panacea for Indigenous concerns.
Large-scale, centralized museums for general audiences in settler societies have been shifting due to new museological understandings, norms, and practices, where the question of participation has become central. National museum projects dedicated to Indigenous topics around the world have been shaped by this transformation from New Zealand to Canada. “Active collaboration and a sharing of authority” have become the norm in many Indigenous exhibitions (Clifford, 1997, p. 210). While mostly non-Native curators and anthropologists possessed the cultural legitimacy to interpret Native histories in large-scale museums of the past, ...