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Human Rights Museum reopens to the public with new exhibits

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After being fully closed for seven months, the Canadian Human Rights Museum officially reopened its doors to the public in July.

The Museum has a few exhibits never seen before, such as the “Witness Blanket” – a piece of art created by an Indigenous Mastercarver that contains over 800 objects collected from sites and survivors of the residential schools.

“Each of those objects tells a story. They’re these tangible objects that really are meant to bring stories of residential schools alive to tell the people who are looking at it, that this really happened, that these are pieces of truth, and I think it has a very powerful impact on those who come and look at it,” said Maureen Fitzhenry, Media Relations Manager at the Canadian Human Rights Museum.

The exhibit has sparked the public’s attention even more lately – after all of the unmarked graves were found in and out of the province.

“Those aren’t new discoveries really, but they grab the public’s attention to new and now people are looking to learn more, and so that’s what we as a museum hope we can do. We’re a place of dialogue and conversation, we’re a place of learning,” said Fitzhenry.

Sharing the same space is the exposition “Artivism,” – that uses art to tell stories about genocide and mass atrocities to capture people’s attention and encourage them to take action. In addition to that – the museum also has another brand new exhibit called ARTiculate our rights.

“This one has artwork created by Manitoba youth – over one hundred teenagers in Manitoba submitted their artwork about human rights and we’ve got it projected in this really vibrant, colorful, immersive gallery upstairs,” said Fitzhenry.

Right now, the Museum is allowed to function with 50% of capacity. However, you are still encouraged to buy the tickets online ahead of time.

“We’re seeing people come, we had our first day with over three hundred visitors that we had for over a year, so it’s coming back, and we’ve got all the precautions still in place: we require masks, we encourage social distancing, hand sanitazation, contactless payment, all the same things we’ve been doing all along,” said Fitzhenry.

The museum will offer a public program in September with a panel discussion and audience Q&A – and they also plan to build a whole gallery around the idea of colonization, residential schools and reconciliation.

– Juliana Vannucci, U Multicultural.

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