There are two secrets the upcoming Canadian Museum for Human Rights doesn’t want you to know: First, it’s not Canadian – that is, it’s not a federal institution but rather owned by the Asper family (who runs CanWest Global – Global TV, the right-wing NationalPost, Astral Media, etc.) and wants operating funding from the government too! Second, it’s not even a museum – it will not contain any artifacts or other objects of importance but rather only two permanent exhibitions which has upset the Ukrainian community and others in the Winnipeg area:
The committee calls for only two permanent galleries in the museum: one for the Holocaust and the other for Canada’s indigenous people.
The (Ukrainian Canadian) Congress wrote to several Cabinet ministers to complain that the genocide-famine in Soviet Ukraine and the national internment of Canadians during the First and Second World wars aren’t getting permanent exhibits.
The Congress is urging people to write to their MPs and federal Heritage Minister James Moore and demand a change in the makeup of the museum’s governance and advisory committees.
"We’ll only get one chance to make sure it’s done right," said Mr. Zalusky.
The national umbrella group that represents 1.2-million Ukrainian-Canadians said it supported the new museum politically and its members have donated to it. But when the final content advisory committee report was made public this fall, members of the congress were disappointed.
"It makes only one minor, passing reference to Canada’s first national internment operations,” the Congress report said. The Congress also says there is only one reference to the Holodomor.
Survivors of the Holodomor shared some horrific recollections of the genocide with the museum committee as it elicited input across Canada, said Mr. Zalusky.
"There were some absolutely stomach-churning issues and events that took place," said Mr. Zalusky. None of the witnesses’ information and input was included in the content advisory committee report, though, he said.
"We don’t believe their report is balanced," said Mr. Zalusky. "Nor does it reflect a Canadian approach to human rights issues," he said.
the Ukrainian Canadian Congress says the museum’s board and committees are "dominated by friends and supporters of the Asper Foundation" and lack objectivity.