Opening of "Pasifika: Island Journeys." Museum of Anthropology, June 2003 Children in African Museums, First GCAM workshop, Nairobi, 1997 (NMK) GCAM delegates at Olorgesaillie Archaeological Site, Rift Valley, Kenya, 1997 Dance Troupe entertaining delegates, GCAM workshop, Nairobi, 1997 Education Officer, Peggy McGeary and CAM intern, Caroline Lanthier. Presentation on Holetown Museum, Barbados, 1999 Delegates in discussion, Liverpool, 2003 Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2000 Northwest Coast Totem Pole, Museum of Anthropology
 
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CANADIAN MUSEUMS ASSOCATION CONFERENCE IN TORONTO
  MARCH 26, 2009.

 

Moderator: Martin Segger M.Phil., F.R.S.A.
Adj. Professor & Director, UVIC Community Relations,
University of Victoria.

Speakers:

Catherine C. Cole: 10023 93 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 1W6; Phone/Fax: 780-424-2229; E-mail: CatherineC.Cole@telus.net <mailto:CatherineC.Cole@telus.neet> re: northern perspective (Canada and the UK)
· Lloyd Kandasammy: 361 Tait, St Laurent, Montreal, H4M 2K4; Phone: 514 747 2830; E-mail: lloydkandasammy@yahoo.com (formerly with National Trust in Guyana, recently re-located to Canada, re: southern perspective – Caribbean & African museums)
· Barbara Winters, 4739 Treetop Hts, Victoria, BC V8Y 1E3; Phone 250-658-1078; E-mail: bawinters@shaw.ca re: Guyana symposium; benefits of belonging to CAM

Learning objectives:

· Why Canadian museums should think about their role in civil society and how such a role plays out in individual museums
· How Commonwealth museums are expanding the definition of museums and the role of museums in society
· How museums in Commonwealth countries draw on cultural heritage to engage communities in societal issues (HIV/AIDS, malaria, gender equality)
· How the Commonwealth Association fosters debate and the exchange of experience among museums at an international level
· How museums in the Commonwealth are addressing issues of global concern (e.g., biodiversity)
· How the Commonwealth Association of Museums develops distance learning programs for museum workers around the world.

Target audience:

· Museum workers interested in expanding programs into communities.
· Museum workers interested in addressing global issues.
· Museum workers interested in museum training programs .

 

At the conclusion of the symposium, delegates crafted the Georgetown Declaration, which will be presented to the Commonwealth Foundation, ICOM, and other international organizations. Key recommendations within the Georgetown Declaration include that CAM:
· work with ICOM to expand the definition of the museum to refer specifically to the role of museums in community development (i.e., museums and diversity, both human and environmental).
· redevelop its Distance Learning Program underpinning the values of the Commonwealth Foundation, paying particular attention to current issues such as cultural and biological diversity, disaster preparedness, alleviation of poverty, HIV and AIDS, etc.; and subsequently encourage museums throughout the Commonwealth to recognize the Program as entrance level training in museology.
· encourage museums throughout the Commonwealth as agents of civil society to build strong and meaningful collaborations and partnerships with the local community, including the private sector, both in their own countries and internationally.
· encourage museums to document, research and incorporate indigenous intangible heritage in exhibitions and programs to complement Western scientific knowledge in conservation of the environment, where appropriate.
· urge museums to participate in the annual International Biodiversity Day and in particular 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
· urge the Commonwealth Foundation and member states to increase their financial support for museums and heritage organizations, and to imbed support in official policy, at all levels of government throughout the Commonwealth.

Speakers will discuss some of the ways that museums are addressing these recommendations, using examples provided by speakers at the symposium, and will in turn challenge workers in Canadian museums.

For example:
· efforts of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool to establish partnerships with museums in communities from which slaves originated and within the black community in Liverpool that is in part a legacy of the slave trade
· the challenge to redress the imbalance in commemorative history in South Africa
· the museum as a target for post-election violence in Kenya and the need to move away from colonial museum themes towards a community participatory museum
· observation that societies have adopted some aspects of immigrant cultures (e.g., food, fashion and music) but our notions of museums are slower to evolve
· challenge from Tanzania to address the potential for museums of any theme to address environmental issues (e.g., war museum: war unsustainable resource extraction, displacement & settlement or human population)