Sask First People's and Museums Committee
* This Committee is currently inactive *
The mandate of the First People's and Saskatchewan Museums Committee, is to develop a framework for cultivating mutual respect between the Saskatchewan museum community and the Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis communities. The committee has a number of goals, but has given the highest priority to strategies that will provide access by Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis people into the Saskatchewan museum community.
In January 2001, the First People's and Saskatchewan Museums Committee approved the 20 new standards for the care of Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis collections in Saskatchewan museums. Approval was granted after two years of consultation with both the museum community and the Saskatchewan First Nations & Métis communities.
The goals of the committee are as follows:
- to educate the Saskatchewan museum community about Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis concerns and aspirations;
- to communicate with the Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis communities about the role of the MAS, the museum community and the museum profession;
- to work collaboratively wherever possible;
- to recommend policy to the MAS Board of Directors;
- to suggest actions and strategies for MAS to undertake;
- to develop guidelines and processes for building relationships between the Saskatchewan museum community and the Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis communities.
- to develop strategies to provide access and involvement by Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis people into the Saskatchewan museum community; specifically in the areas of training, management and interpretation.
Supporting First Nations & Métis Communities in Museum Initiatives
First Nations and Métis communities are in the process of developing their own museums and keeping houses. They want to tell their stories from their perspectives and to regain control of their cultural heritage items. Access to existing resources within the museum community is essential to their long-term survival.
The Museums Association of Saskatchewan is positioned to serve the needs of all types of museums in the province. Under new policies, the focus has shifted to a diverse, inclusive community.
The objectives for providing support to First Nations & Métis communities are:
- to facilitate and support the decision-making process for groups or communities thinking about establishing a heritage facility by:
- helping to identify who needs to be involved
- making connections and exploring potential partnerships
- getting community support
- and to assist groups/communities that have already made a decision and are in the process of establishing a museum, keeping house or cultural centre by:
- linking them to resources
- providing on-site and telephone advisory assistance (information, answering questions, identifying options, etc.)
- on-site developmental assistance (helping in planning, writing policies, job descriptions, etc.)
- facilitating participation in the museum community
For non-Aboriginal museums with First Nations and Métis collections, the objectives are:
- To facilitate the development of existing partnerships between non-Aboriginal museums and Aboriginal groups/communities where there are difficulties because the partnership is new or needs to better understand the cultural differences, or where the partnership is not growing and needs help in generating ideas for initiatives or planning a new direction;
- To assist museums that are planning exhibitions/ programs with their First Nations and Métis collections and need resources within the Aboriginal community most frequently, these museums need to get First Nations or Métis people involved in the planning/ implementation and do not know how to make the connections, need to broaden the scope of feedback or input because it is too limited, or require information to make more informed decisions.