UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Open to interpretation : Métis histories at the Royal Alberta Museum Kienholz, Jennifer Joanne


In museums, teams of skilled professionals are working to turn museological theory and ethical standards into practice. When faced with contested histories and often-conflicting perspectives, curators and educators must balance their guiding principles and mandates with the practical demands of public representation. By investigating the work of the people responsible for this process at the Royal Alberta Museum, I explore how appropriate museology is practiced using the example of Métis history in Canada. The representation of contrasting histories within adjacent but isolated spaces results in a rift between curatorial intentions and public comprehension; however, in the spaces between exhibits—within practical limitations—there is room to encourage visitors to make critical connections. In this thesis, I emphasize the need for museum professionals to create holistic museum experiences out of disparate exhibits.

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