Login/Register With: A 50th anniversary is a big deal for a cultural institution. There’s enough history to celebrate, consider and, in some instances, reconsider. There’s the opportunity to refresh the institution’s profile and evaluate its position within contemporary art discourse. It’s an occasion, too, to strategize, to wonder, “Now what? Sure, we’ve made it this far – but what needs to be done to ensure another half-century?”The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is in the midst of just such a rumination – an exercise brought into even sharper focus last week when the famous woodsy gallery here, 40 kilometres northwest of Toronto, named British museum professional Ian Dejardin as its new director and chief executive officer. Lest we forget, it was 50 years ago this summer that the McMichael first opened its doors to the public as a Crown corporation of the province of Ontario. The deal that, on paper at least, transformed the McMichael from the fiefdom of founders Robert and Signe McMichael into a public trust had been reached in November, 1965. However, extensive and expensive renovations to the site meant that its roughly 200 artworks weren’t ready for their close-up until July.Alexander Young Jackson, October Morning, Algoma, 1920. (Toni Hafkenscheid/ University of Toronto Purchased by the Hart House Art Committee 1931/32) Advertisement Facebook Called, initially, the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art, the “collection” referenced in the moniker was unashamedly Canadian. Or at least unashamedly Canuck in its devotion to art of a particular ilk, namely oil sketches, drawings and paintings by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and their contemporaries and followers, plus work by First Nations artists. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
The Canadian PressSASKATOON – The former head of a Metis group has announced his intention to sue the federal and Saskatchewan governments over the 60s Scoop.Robert Doucette, a 60s Scoop survivor and former president of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, says it’s wrong that Metis were left out of a federal government apology and compensation deal for victims of the practice.“For the most part, we’re looking for respect and for justice. We have seen nothing but disdain from the federal minister of Indigenous affairs, Carolyn Bennett, by leaving us out of this agreement,” Doucette said in Saskatoon on Monday, accompanied by other survivors and his lawyer.The 60s Scoop was a practice that saw Indigenous, Metis and Inuit children taken from their families and placed in non-Indigenous care.Bennett made a statement of apology in the fall for 60s Scoop survivors who were robbed of their cultural identities, but it didn’t include Metis.The federal government agreed to pay a maximum $750 million to status Indian and Inuit victims. Ottawa also agreed to set aside a further $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation.The settlement followed an Ontario court decision from February, when the federal government was found liable for the harm done to at-risk, on-reserve Indigenous children who were placed in non-Indigenous homes from 1965 to 1984 under terms of a federal-provincial agreement.In 2015, then-premier Brad Wall promised an apology for Metis and First Nation survivors. However, an apology from the provincial government has not yet been issued. Wall had said he was ready to make an apology but he didn’t agree with the idea of provincial compensation.The lawsuit filed by Doucette is not a class-action lawsuit as he says other survivors have the intent of filing other lawsuits in the future.“Both levels of government are not taking responsibility for their actions and now leave Metis 60s Scoop survivors no choice but to defend ourselves and we will hold both levels of government accountable for the damage they’ve brought on Metis individuals,” Doucette said.The chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, suggested in November that Saskatchewan pay out $400 million, or at least $200 million, to 60s Scoop survivors.