Canadian Museums Affiliation backs board president amid resignations

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Three Canadian Museums Affiliation board members tendered their resignation final week, amid a racially charged controversy involving board president and former Royal B.C. Museum CEO, Jack Lohman.

The departures embrace Margaret Chrumka, govt director of the Kamloops Artwork Gallery, Stephen Borys, director and CEO of the Winnipeg Artwork Gallery and Financial institution of Canada Museum director Ken Ross.

The previous administrators wouldn’t touch upon the specifics of their resignations however expressed ongoing commitments to range and inclusion, in addition to Reality and Reconciliation at their respective museums.

In February, Lohman left the RBCM amid “internal issues.”

A 3rd-party public service company is at the moment investigating allegations of racism amongst RBCM employees.

The investigation was triggered after Lucy Bell, a Haida nation member, stop as head of the First Nations Division and Repatriation Program claiming the establishment was house to discrimination, bullying and white privilege.

Resignations and competing opinions

In a press release to Canadian Museums Affiliation members, govt director and CEO Vanda Vitali acknowledged the differing opinions round Lohman’s continued tenure.

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“A few of you have suggested that Prof. Lohman should step down from his role at the CMA as well. Others have expressed their interest in having him stay on until the end of his mandate, which is just five weeks away,” she wrote. 

“The Board determined last week that Prof. Lohman should remain in his role.”

She stated the three members selected to go away “following this decision.”

Vitali provides that the board has “been actively monitoring and discussing the situation” and is “mindful” of the continuing third-party investigation. 

Established in 1947, the CMA describes itself as “the voice for Canada’s vibrant museum community.”  In 2018, it established a Reconciliation Council, to evaluation and suggest nationwide museum insurance policies and practices, in compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.