In 2006, this second-floor museum exhibition at Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History was created by a dedicated team of historians, staff, and volunteers; now over 15 years later, this display is outdated in its museology. There is a clear need to update this space to reflect the diverse community we live in, and to amplify underrepresented voices of the past and present.
The TRC Calls to Action, UNDRIP, and the First Nations Principles of OCAP have provided the museum, archives, and gallery sectors a roadmap to reconciliation. We continue to build on our relationships with the Sinixt people through the Sinixt Confederacy and Colville Confederated Tribes, the Ktunaxa Nation and Yaqan Nukiy people, the Metis Nation through the West Kootenay Metis Association, as well as historians, artists, educators, and advocates in our community, to bring new life to the museum and to continue the work laid out in our mission statement and strategic plan.
Through repatriation work, archival renaming projects, and relationship-building, museums and archives across the globe are beginning to break down colonial walls. To further illustrate our alignment with the international museum sector, this year we will update our name to one that more clearly speaks to who we are and have always been – the Nelson Museum, Archives, and Gallery. We are embracing brevity in order to further break down barriers and create a welcoming space for all. We are developing a new brand identity, launching in fall 2022; you can expect to see our new name in tourism marketing, news releases, and more, throughout the spring and summer.
Our legal name has always been the Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society. When the DBA (Doing Business As) name Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History was adopted in 2006, it was in homage to the rich mining history in the region, and also stood for a standard of excellence for which something can be compared. We thank the incredible individuals and community members who chose this name and helped bring the organization forward in its important journey. We will remain your cultural touchstone and as such, will continue to provide quality programming, curate exhibitions by internationally recognized artists, and maintain the Collection of over 7,000 objects and Shawn Lamb Archives containing half a million photographs and newspaper pages. Our work, community involvement, and decolonization will be what defines our excellence. For more information, please visit touchstonesnelson.ca.