Truth and reconciliation

Truth, Reconciliation, and Decolonization at Barkerville

Barkerville is overcoming the legacy of a painful past. Not long ago, a lack of understanding of Indigenous history and little desire to accept responsibility to address Indigenous concerns meant there was a reluctance to acknowledge the harms done by the gold rush and the process of colonization. 

Today, we recognize that museums, archives, and historic sites are tied to a legacy of colonial power structures and discriminatory methodologies that discredit and erase the voices of many people.  We accept that past practices bear improving, and we proudly commit to re-examining our values, acknowledging the harms of the past and moving forward along the path to reconciliation. We are making a concerted effort to critically examine our own history, collections, exhibitions, and programs to ensure that everyone feels welcome, safe, and included. 

We are, in particular, committed to answering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action for Museums, Archives, and Galleries and following the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples. In this work, our actions are guided by the Draft Principles that Guide the Province of British Columbia’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

Through relationship building with Indigenous nations locally and regionally, and working collaboratively with Indigenous knowledge keepers, we are working to incorporate the 10 Principles of Truth and Reconciliation and the rich history and knowledge of Indigenous peoples at every level of what we do. We acknowledge that these relationships must be based on respect, recognition and exercise of Aboriginal title and rights and to the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Crown titles and jurisdictions. This ongoing process requires listening, learning, and acknowledging the true history of Canada and this region, especially the lasting and traumatic legacy of residential schools. 

It is our responsibility to care for the land, resources, knowledge, and traditions of this place and all that that entails. We are guided through this important work by the voices of First Peoples and the land itself. We have much to learn, and much work to do.