Indigenous Voices of Today - McCord Stewart Museum

Permanent Exhibition


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Indigenous Voices of Today

Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience

The exhibition Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience bears witness to the still unrecognized knowledge of Indigenous peoples in Quebec and Canada as well as the deep wounds they carry and their incredible resilience.

About one hundred carefully selected objects from the Museum’s Indigenous Cultures collection are combined with more than eighty powerful inspiring stories (texts and videos) from members of the 11 Indigenous nations in Quebec, shedding light on their knowledge and philosophies. They speak out about their suffering as well as their dreams and plans for a better future to help restore their health, which has been undermined by the process of assimilation.

As part of an effort to initiate dialogue and foster understanding, the exhibition offers an opportunity for a meaningful connection.

  • <b>Snowshoes</b>, Algonquian, 1865-1900. Gift of John L. Todd, ACC1148.1-2 © McCord Stewart Museum
  • <b>Bandolier bag</b>, Anishinaabe, 1865-1880. Gift of the Estate of Marc and Gilberte Cinq-Mars, M2005.115.17 © McCord Stewart Museum
  • <b>Bag</b>, Nunavimmiut, 1870-1915. Gift of Mrs. James H. Peck, ME982X.188 © McCord Stewart Museum
  • <b>Child’s boots</b>, Kablunângajuit, 1850-1875. Gift of Priscilla Evans, M993.151.2.1-2 © McCord Stewart Museum
  • <b>Game bag</b>, Gwich'in, 1900-1930. Gift of John A. Grose, ME984X.98 © McCord Stewart Museum
  • <b>Mask</b>, Heiltsuk or Haida,1800-1850. Gift of Dr. George Mercer Dawson, ME892.32.1 © McCord Stewart Museum
  • <b>Cradleboard</b>, Kanien’kehá:ka, 1890-1910. M10992 © McCord Stewart Museum

The testimonies were gathered by the Huron-Wendat curator Elisabeth Kaine, who between 2010 and 2018 conducted a major consultation involving 800 people from the 11 Indigenous nations living in Quebec.

The objects on display were selected by the Innu Jean St-Onge, of the Maison de la transmission de la culture innue Shaputuan, in Uashat, using an approach inspired by Indigenous ways of understanding the world through observation and allowing the objects to speak to him.

This permanent exhibition was curated by Elisabeth Kaine (1955-2022), Co-Holder –until her death in 2022– of the UNESCO Chair at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, titled “The Transmission of First Peoples’ Culture to Foster Well-Being and Empowerment”, and long-time contributor to the Museum.

This exhibition has been produced through a financial contribution from the program Aide aux projets pour le soutien des expositions permanentes of the Québec Cultural Heritage Fund of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.

Microsite in the exhibition

To provide an enjoyable visitor experience for all, multimedia content featured on shared devices in the exhibition hall is also available on our microsite. Have your headphones ready, charge your cell phone battery, and make sure you can read QR codes with your mobile device to access this content.

Discover the exhibition through the eyes of our visitors. Comments given on September 24, 2021. Narration in French and Innu by Joséphine Bacon: excerpts from videos featured in the exhibition.

Live virtual opening of the exhibition on September 24, 2021, hosted by Charles Bender. With Elisabeth Kaine, Jonathan Lainey, Suzanne Sauvage and Ghislain Picard.

Not to be missed!

What people are saying about it

« […] a journey through culture, wounds, and the strength of the First Nations of Quebec. » Le Devoir
Exhibition presented by CBC/Radio-Canada
Thanks to our partners

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