Via The Art Newspaper, June 6, 2022
In a new twist in the ongoing saga of the Royal British Columbia Museum’s plan to spend C$789m ($626m) demolishing its longtime home in Victoria, British Columbia and erecting an entirely new building, a BC First Nation is urging the province to earmark part of the proposed budget for repatriating Indigenous artefacts and helping First Nations to build their own arts centres.
The Tseshaht First Nation, which has an array of cultural items in the museum including carvings and harpoon points, wrote an open lettersuggesting the change in approach to the BC government. It says it has yet to receive a reply.
In a CBC Radio programme last week, Tseshaht elected chief councillor Ken Watts said, “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t get up and speak on behalf of not just our people, but the people who made those items that they have in the museum, you know, ancestors who aren’t here anymore.”