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LETTER: RBCM exhibit’s removal alienates member

I bought my first membership to the RBC Museum over 30 years ago and still have an old book on plant use by First Nations people which I purchased it then and still greatly value today. My wife and I have lived in Victoria now for over 10 years and are currently annual membership holders. However, it seems that is likely to change with an ill-conceived and poorly executed plan to remove most of the existing museum exhibits with apparently no plan to have replacement exhibits in place. One wonders if this is a move to eventually get rid of the museum. What kind of a museum does something this daft?

We are among the many B.C. and Canadian residents who fully support the long-overdue process of reconciliation. We donate to Reconciliation Canada and the Residential Schools Survivors Society. The treatment of First Nations people both in B.C. and across Canada has been a blight on our history and that story is one the museum should and must tell.

We have a keen interest in learning more about the history of B.C.’s indigenous people and welcome any additions to the collections that promote that. However, as Canadians of European descent, we also have an interest in settler history, including its darker side. The truth must be told. Perhaps the museum leadership might consider some input from the citizens whose museum this really is. Reportedly, even First Nations leaders were not consulted over these dramatic changes and most certainly, the rest of us weren’t.

There is a great deal to be done to begin the healing between First Nations people and the rest of Canada’s people, and many admirable efforts have begun in this respect. However, the hastily contrived efforts of the current leadership at the RBC Museum seem more geared to political correctness than reconciliation. They really need to rethink this terrible idea. Some new leadership at the museum might be a good first step.

Mark Jeffers