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Janis Monture appointed 1st Indigenous CEO of Canadian Museums Association

CBC News | February 14, 2023

Categories: news

Monture is leaving her role as Woodland Cultural Centre executive director

Bobby Hristova · CBC News · Posted: Feb 14, 2023 4:00 AM EST | Last Updated: February 14

Janis Monture has been appointed the new executive director and chief executive officer of the Canadian Museums Association. (Patricio Munoz)

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) has appointed Janis Kahentóktha Monture as its new executive director and chief executive officer, making Monture the first Indigenous person in the role.

"I'm really humbled and I'm excited," Monture, executive director of the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ont., told CBC Hamilton.

The Woodland Cultural Centre is also the site of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School. Residential school survivors are leading a search on the plot of land for unmarked graves.

CMA and the cultural centre said in a joint media release earlier this month that Monture will start the new role on Feb. 27.

"Janis passionately advocates for the voices of Indigenous communities and cultures within the museum sector, with a focus on strengthening connections beyond the walls within Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike," said Allison Lynn, director of the cultural centre. 

Heather George, CMA president, said Monture "brings an invaluable set of skills as an experienced administrator, leader and community builder."

A drone shot of the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ont, where the former Mohawk Institute Residential School was stood. (Sue Reid/CBC)

The Woodland Cultural Centre has started the process of finding a new executive director, Monture said.

Monture, a member of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River, served on the steering committee for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures.

She also was director of tourism and cultural initiatives for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.

Monture said her new CMA role will include doing an analysis of the association to see where it currently stands, as well as outlining a new strategic vision for the next five to 10 years.

The role will also see her implement the 67th call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission — a national review in collaboration with Indigenous communities of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

She'll also expand the association's capacity to support the museum sector and develop international relationships.

"It comes with a lot of responsibility and it's not something I take lightly," Monture said.

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