Future RCMP Museum: Government wanted broader consultations

Spread the love

Future RCMP Museum: the government wanted broader consultations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2019 election campaign that the Liberals would transform the RCMP Heritage Center into a national institution (Archives).

Director of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Heritage Center in Saskatchewan, Tara Robinson, says after completing a series of consultations on how it can turn into a national museum, the ball is now in the court. #x27;Ottawa.

We really needed to hear from Canadians, she said Friday. There has never been a more complex time for policing in our country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2019 election campaign that the Liberals would transform the RCMP Heritage Centre, which is currently operated by a not-for-profit organization, into a national institution.

Involving a wide range of Canadians, including LGBTQ+ and Indigenous communities, in discussions about these growth efforts was a key condition set by the federal Department of Heritage, which oversees national museums such as the National Gallery of Canada. .

Documents The Canadian Press obtained through the Access to Information Act suggest there was some initial resistance to the extent of these consultations, although Ms. Robinson pointed out that this happened very early in the process.

The exchanges on what it would take to create a national RCMP museum are contained in approximately 600 pages of emails and other documents from 2020 and 2021.

Located on the grounds of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police School, Depot Division, in Regina, where Mounties receive their training, the center serves as a museum of the history of the National Police, which saw the as the North West Mounted Police in 1873.

“At the moment the center is frozen in time,” Ms. Robinson recalled, adding that the exhibits do not only cover events up to the 1970s.

We need to talk about residential schools, she said. We need to look at the evolution of the RCMP.

The center has campaigned for years for national museum status, which would require the federal government to change the Museums Act. National museums operate like Crown corporations and their operating costs are covered by Ottawa.

Even before COVID-19 hit, documents show the center , which receives about 20,000 visitors a year, was struggling. It made $3.5 million in 2019, but spent $3.7 million.

According to the emails, federal officials initially estimated the process would take 18 to 24 months. But the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 stalled work on the file.

In the fall, the center s' is briefed on the progress being made, outlining his goal to see its doors open as a national museum in 2023, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the RCMP.

Then-Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage Hélène Laurendeau responded in December 2020 saying some due diligence was needed to ensure any future museums would be aligned with Liberal government priorities. , including promoting gender equality, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, environmental initiatives, as well as listening to diverse perspectives.

End In fact, the federal government offered the center $4.5 million in its Spring 2021 budget.

Each time a museum receives the title of national, the Federal Museums Act of 1990 is amended to add this museum to the crown institutions.

In late December, the center released a report on what it heard through a consultation process that began in early 2022. Murray Sinclair, who was chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission , and Phil Fontaine, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, were among those the report said were asked about the project and expressed their support.

I want to see aboriginal faces when I walk into the center. Black faces. Female faces. Not a series of white men, Mr. Sinclair argued, according to the document.

Ms. Robinson said she wants to have a police museum that honors sacrifices of members of the RCMP while creating space to have difficult conversations.

A spokesperson for Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez did not provide a timeline or clarified when an amendment would be made to the Museums Act. Canadian Heritage officials regularly consult the RCMP Heritage Centre, Laura Scaffidi wrote in an email.

Previous Article
Next Article