I Am Here

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In 2017, the Royal BC Museum worked alongside Cedar Hill Middle School and Spectrum Community School to amplify the voices of Indigenous youth with an exhibition that ran for 18 months in the First Peoples gallery. Through photography and poetry, the students examined their complex, rapidly changing world through their own lenses and emerging identities. With this exhibition space, student curator Danica Paul (Songhees/Tsartlip) invites youth who identify as Indigenous to assert their voices through the powerful statement: I am here.

The students' courage to explore how they understand their Indigeneity creates a Call to Action that speaks to their relationship to their ancestral ties, and their rights to culture, language, lands and resources. This exhibition seeks to counter a colonial deficit lens by centring hope in the work of reconciliation. This exhibition space was co-curated by Danica Paul (Songhees/Tsartlip) on her family's traditional lands, the Lekwungen Speaking Peoples (known today as the Songhees and Xwsepsum First Nations). The project is supported by teacher faciiltators Emma Milliken (Indigenous Education Teacher Consultant) and Tasha Henry (Cedar Hill Middle School).

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