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On Toronto’s Birthday, new poll suggests Museums are not doing enough to tell Indigenous stories

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TORONTO, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ – A new Ipsos poll, conducted for Myseum of Toronto, reveals the degree to which museums are still failing to address Indigenous storytelling and the desires of a large majority of Torontonians to know more about the city’s Indigenous history. Today, on Toronto’s 186th Birthday, Myseum shared a trailer for an upcoming full-length documentary on the Indigenous history of Toronto’s waterfront entitled, Wigwam Chi-Chemung.

The poll surveyed Toronto residents aged 18+, to explore how they feel about and experience the history of the city. Poll highlights include:

  • Over eight in ten (83%) feel they should know more about the history of Toronto/their local community
  • Three quarters (75%) feel they should know more about the Indigenous history of Toronto/their local community
  • Only half (51%) of Torontonians feel that museums in general, and Toronto museums, do a good job of sharing the stories of marginalized or underrepresented communities
  • Six in ten (61%) of Torontonians have watched a video or read an article about history in the last six months, and four in ten (41%) have listened to a podcast

Myseum of Toronto’s mandate is to provide a platform for underrepresented and marginalized voices, sharing differing perspectives in Toronto’s historical narrative, including those of Indigenous communities. This past summer, Myseum partnered with Elder Duke Redbird on Wigwam Chi-Chemung; an art installation and Indigenous interpretive learning centre telling the story of the Indigenous presence on Toronto’s waterfront. Special monthly events as well as regular public hours were held to engage with, ask questions of, and learn from the perspectives of Indigenous elders.

“What these poll results demonstrate is that Torontonians have a strong desire to look beyond the traditional stories of our past and engage with the Indigenous connection to the founding and development of the city,” said Myseum of Toronto CEO Jeremy Diamond. “Our city’s Indigenous past remains a large part of the Toronto experience and Myseum of Toronto looks forward to creating new opportunities to share more of these stories in the future.”

Today, Toronto turns 186 years old, but there are more than 12,000 years of Indigenous history in Toronto that came before Toronto was incorporated on March 6, 1834. Most people are unaware of this lengthy history, but this study indicates that they want to be more informed. Myseum of Toronto is excited to share the documentary that will provide insight into the inception, curation and events that occurred in and around the Wigwam Chi-Chemung Indigenous Learning Centre and Art Installation.

Watch and share the documentary trailer here. The documentary will be released online mid-March. Full Ipsos poll results available upon request. 

About Myseum of Toronto
Myseum of Toronto is a non-profit organization established by private citizens in 2015. Through engaging programs and experiences, we convene, curate, and share the stories of Toronto, infusing a sense of curiosity in our past, present and future. Instead of asking people to come to one location to explore art, culture, and history, Myseum’s unconventional museum model delivers free accessible programming to all corners of the city. Our focus on co-creation and collaboration ensures that all perspectives are included in Toronto’s historical narrative. For additional information on Myseum please visit www.myseumoftoronto.com

SOURCE Myseum of Toronto

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