Visit First Peoples gallery at ROM

If you are still without solid plans for Family Day, maybe a trip to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to visit the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art and culture would be up your alley.

Located on the main floor of the Hilary and Galen Weston Wing and free of charge to view, the First Peoples Gallery is one of the ROM’s premiere cultural spaces, featuring more than one thousand works of art and cultural heritage. The First Peoples Gallery opened in 2005 with input from Indigenous advisors. Since then, additional cultural specialists worked with the museum to update sections of the gallery.

“Together, we will create a gallery that shares Indigenous lifeways, cultural expressions, and worldviews from our perspectives,” said Independent Consultant Tim Johnson, on the ROM’s website.

According to the site, the continuing First Peoples legacy comes alive in this multi-layered gallery that discusses the complex relationship between traditions and present life, the work of collectors who sought to document the unique experiences of Indigenous cultures, the development of museums where First Peoples’ material culture could be preserved, and provide a sense of what it means to be an Indigenous person in the contemporary world through contemporary art.

“Explore a rich cultural legacy embodied in objects devoted to travel, subsistence, family life, the spiritual world, and artistic expressions,” said the ROM. There is also a circular theatre devoted to the screening of films and live performances by First Peoples.

As part of ROM’s broader effort to foster a greater appreciation of the Indigenous ancestral objects in the Museum’s collections, and to support the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, admission to the gallery is free of charge to the public.

The ROM told the Two Row Times that even though the museum is normally closed on Mondays, it will be open on Feb. 20 for Family Day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. And offers free General Admission to Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Check in at the admissions desk on arrival for free admission.

“The ROM is open for special activities and programs throughout the long weekend. We are usually closed Mondays but will be open for Family Day,” said the ROM.

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