Indians of Canada Pavilion

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Indians of Canada pavilion.

The Indians of Canada Pavilion was a pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The exhibits of the temporary world's fair structure presented a somewhat different message than what the Canadian government had hoped, emphasizing the First Nations' point of view. However, the Aboriginal peoples who were consulted insisted on the importance of collaborating with Aboriginal artists such as Alex Janvier, and Norval Morriseau to express their ideology of what it meant to be an Indian in Canada. Visitors were greeted with the provocative messages:

"You have stolen our native land, our culture, our soul..."

and then passed by a series of images and artifacts accompanied by statements such as:

"An Indian child begins school by learning a foreign tongue."
"Dick and Jane in the storybook are strangers to an Indian boy."
"The sun and the moon mark passing time in the Indian home. At school, minutes are important and we jump to the beat."

The tone of the exhibit caught organizers off guard when they first viewed it mere days before the scheduled opening. Talk of last minute changes were scuttled, however, when a local newspaper journalist present at the preview wrote a column describing the content.

The Queen of Canada, with ashen face, cut her visit to the pavilion short upon realizing the direction the content was taking.

Ironically, the Canadian government received accolades for supporting this approach but it marked a turning point in the struggle to be heard by Canada's First Nations People.

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