Note: CMU is represented on the Mennonite Committee on Human Rights, which
has issued the following press release.
Mennonite Committee on Human Rights Sends Concept
Paper to Museum Advisory Board
Mennonites in Canada can make valuable contributions to the new Canadian
Museum of Human Rights, according to the Mennonite Committee on Human Rights.
“We believe our approach to peace and reconciliation, our global connections
with communities where human rights are violated, our responses to abuse as well
as stories of persecution arising out of our own history, would all make
important contributions to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights,” says Committee
co-chair Judith Dueck.
The Committee, made up of representatives from The Canadian Foodgrains Bank;
Canadian Mennonite University; Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society; Mennonite
Central Committee Canada; and Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba, has prepared
a concept paper, which is further endorsed by the Chair of Mennonite Studies,
University of Winnipeg; Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery; Mennonite Heritage
Village; Mennonite Historical Society of Canada; as well as Peace and Conflict
Studies, Conrad Grebel University College affiliated with the University of
The concept paper, presented to the Museum’s government-appointed Advisory
Board, expresses interest and encouragement. It suggests that a portrayal of
Mennonite experience in the Museum, if included, would be most effective in
conjunction with universal inalienable rights, as well as in the ‘community of
The paper outlines who the Mennonites are; indicates some of their historical
experiences with human rights violations; confesses that Mennonites have
sometimes contributed to the violation of the rights of others; and gives
examples of Mennonite contributions in support of human rights.
Click here to read the concept
The presentation from the Mennonite Committee on Human Rights is one of many
responses to the Museum’s Advisory Board request for input from Canadians on
possible content and programming. The contributions will be taken into
consideration by the future Museum Board of Trustees.
Peter Rempel, co-chair of the Committee, says: “We believe that the Canadian
Museum for Human Rights has high potential to influence all generations to find
hope and healing, by emphasizing the universality of human rights and focusing
on advances of human rights.”
Recent legislation created the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (first
conceptualized by Dr. Israel Asper and the Asper Foundation in 2003) as a crown
corporation in the same way as other national museums in Canada. Centrally
located in Winnipeg, it will be the first national museum outside of Ottawa.
Funding is expected to be in place by April when construction will begin. The
Museum mission is to advance understanding and support for human rights in
Canada and throughout the world.
A web-based public consultation/survey, due March 15, is found
Other information about the museum can be found on the
webpage by the
Friends of the Museum. Included are a virtual tour of the museum and videos.
Government appointees to the Museum Advisory Board are listed
Contacts: Peter Rempel,
Esther Epp-Tiessen Esther
and Judith Dueck.
Posted March 11, 2008.
For more information contact the CMU Communications Director, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 2N2, telephone: 204-487-3300 ext. 630, fax: 204-889-1694,(www.cmu.ca)