Colonialism in Canada has directly impacted Indigenous Heritage. Many laws and practices, including the Indian Act, reserve system, residential schools, and Sixties Scoop, have left a lasting and very destructive legacy. These actions were intended to weaken and break our connections to our land, identities, laws, languages, and families. While our survival is a testimony to the immense value we attach to our heritage, our future requires us to reclaim, teach and protect Indigenous Heritage before more is lost.

Some Key Challenges

  • Indigenous knowledge disappearing as Indigenous languages are spoken less frequently.
  • Canadians and visitors from other countries being misinformed about the histories of places and events because Indigenous experts and perspectives are left out of research programs and interpretation in museums, sites and educational programming
  • Indigenous burial grounds are being destroyed, without allowing Indigenous People to collect the remains of their ancestors, undertake scientific studies, or carry out cultural protocols.
  • Belongings of cultural significance to Indigenous People locked away in museum vaults where communities cannot access them or use them for their own teachings and histories.
Todd Labrador, Acadia First Nation, building a Mi’kmaq birch bark canoe at the Lunenburg School of the Arts using techniques he learned from his father Charlie. 2021. Credit: Julie Harris/Todd Labrador.