Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery is receiving another award for its original exhibit Powwow! Ohcîwin the Origins.
On Sept. 17 the museum will be presented with the Alberta Museums Association’s 2022 Leadership Award for Engagement, in recognition for its community engagement work with local Indigenous communities, and collaborative work in the development of the exhibit.
Earlier this year Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery (MAG) was awarded the 2022 Richard Martin Exhibition Award for Small Museums presented by the Costume Society of America.
“The MAG is a leader in community engagement, moving beyond waiting for their community to approach them by asking how they can help members of their community,” said the Alberta Museums Association (AMA) in a statement.
The AMA said the museum is an active, long-term supporter of the Remembering the Children Society and were active listeners in the community consultations that took place during the Truth and Reconciliation hearings and ceremonies in Red Deer. When the final Truth and Reconciliation recommendations came forward, MAG continued its community engagement work at a steady and increasing pace.
In 2015, the MAG was the host site for Walking With Our Sisters, a community lead ceremony honoured Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Children.
MAG staff also regularly attend meetings of their Indigenous partner organizations, such as Urban Aboriginal Voices, to ask where they can be in service of their partner organizations programming and community supports.
Powwow! OhcÎwin the Origins, which ran at the museum from September 2020 to February 2021, presents a positive and affirming look at contemporary Indigenous traditions. Curated by First Nations experts in powwow, the exhibition shows that powwows, regalia, and Indigenous culture are living, breathing active cultures.
The MAG collaborated with the Indigenous creators of the exhibit, Patrick and Marrisa Mitsuing, and worked with a diverse team of Indigenous artists to assemble the dance regalia on display.
The exhibition can still be seen on the museum’s website at https://reddeermuseum.com/powwow-ohciwin-the-origins.
“Through their community engagement outreach in service to their communities and their approach to Indigenous led exhibit development, the MAG actively demonstrates the importance of engaging in partnerships with Indigenous communities. The impact of the exhibit extends beyond Red Deer as it is now a travelling exhibit,” the association said.
Nominations for the leadership awards are adjudicated by the Leadership Awards Committee, comprised of individual members of the AMA. Awards will be presented at the Betty Andrews Recital Hall at MacEwan University during the AMA’s 2022 Annual Conference Inside Out: Reconsidering Museum Culture.
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