The Salmon Arm Museum's Board of Directors has worked hard this year. It has been a time of growth. More visitors, more construction, more exhibits, and more new programs have been created than ever before. 

One area worked on  Curatorial staff like to call the "big picture stuff." Board and staff have studied and accepted a response to the Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Salmon Arm Museum (SAMHA) acknowledges that:

1. Housing Secwepemc artefacts is a trust. SAMHA used the BCMA Rod Naknakim Declaration as a working document to align its own position on the ownership of First Nations artefacts and remains. They will always belong to the Indigenous peoples;

2. There is an opportunity for the Salmon Arm Museum to decolonize its museum by partnering with the Indigenous owners;

3. SAMHA will work to create a space in which there is greater respect and effect for Indigenous peoples and a more authentic experience for museum visitors;

4. Costs for repatriation will not be borne by the Indigenous peoples.

But there is more to come.

We address equity and cultural safety for Indigenous communities by:

1. Making available Indigenous collections and sharing this inventory with any parties who identify as Indigenous.

2. Researchers who identify as Indigenous may access copies of photographs, textual records, sound recordings and other items from the collections free of charge.

3. In practice, acknowledging the unceded territory of the Secwepemc First Nation, flying the territorial flag in our gallery with an explanation of its meaning.

4. Until such time as the Mary Thomas Centre is able to accept responsibility for its Secwepemc artefacts, collections will be held in trust for eventual transfer to the Centre.

And we promise to bring the past into the present:

In partnership with UBC-O and Canada Research Chair Dr. Jeanette Armstrong, a comprehensive inventory was completed in 2014. The collections held in trust by the Salmon Arm Museum contributed to the development of the Syilx Okanagan Research Protocol for the Okanagan Nation Alliance.

We will continue to consult with Cultural Advisor Louis Thomas and others on all matters concerning interpretation of First Nations pre- and post-contact history in hopes of establishing an authentic voice in all stories told in Museum exhibits.