SSM Museum Celebrates “Big Part of our Heritage and Culture”

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Saultites visited the Sault Ste. Marie Museum on Friday for National Indigenous Peoples Day.

NIPD is a day celebrated nation-wide, so all Canadians can recognize and celebrate the our Indigenous Heritage.

The Sault Ste. Marie Museum partnered with the Metis Nation of Ontario Summer Youth Program to provide crafts and fun filled activities in the Discovery Gallery, and also hosted a pop up exhibit from the Shingwaulk Hall Residential Schools Centre featuring Survivor Stories.

“It’s part of the community here and a big part of the history that makes up Sault Ste. Marie, and it’s important to recognize the Indigenous People of this area,” SSM Museum Executive Director Julia Piskiewicz told SaultOnline, talking about why the Museum came on board this year.

“It’s the baseline of our history; it’s where our history starts, it’s the people that settled these areas originally,” Piskiewicz continued. “They set the foundations for what Sault Ste. Marie is today, and it’s a part of our heritage and culture.”

Riley Smith, Program Lead with the Metis Nation of Ontario Summer Youth Program, told SaultOnline that participating in events such as this is one of the ways the group educates the public. She said she thinks doing so is important because not many people know the history of Metis people.

“We don’t really know the history, because Metis was often not talked about,” she said. “Back in the day it wasn’t something to be proud of, so a lot of people hid until the 1960s, and for us to be able to go out into communities and wear our sashes and our historic clothing and be present – it just gives us a lot of pride for who we are and what we’re becoming as a nation.”

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  1. The exhibit that features the red dresses as seen in the video is on loan from the Indigenous Women’s Anti-Violence Task Force, who carried those dresses from the Courthouse to the Delta Hotel to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women on February 14th, 2019. They were catalysts just a few weeks earlier in having the Mayor proclaim February 14th going forward each year as a National Day of Action and Remembrance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The original proclamation signed by Mayor Provenzano is also being exhibited on the second level of the Museum.

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