Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

May 21, 2009 06:00 ET

Help Write the Story of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 21, 2009) - Over the next 12 months, the Content Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be holding sessions across Canada to provide Canadians with the opportunity to help develop the content of the Museum. The aim of these sessions is to identify stories and perspectives that can be incorporated into the Museum, and to receive feedback on how the Museum can establish an ongoing dialogue with Canadians on important human rights issues.

"Knowledge of the evolution of human rights in Canada is essential in order to better understand both our failures and our successes," stated Mr. Yude Henteleff, C.M., Q.C., LL.D. (Hon) Chair of the Content Advisory Committee. "In turn this will, hopefully, lead us to overcome the forces of discrimination, oppression and inequality. The input we will be receiving from CAC's sessions across Canada over the next 12 months will tell the Museum how and what it must share in order to achieve those objectives."

The Content Advisory Committee, established in January 2009, is made up of human rights scholars, specialists, leaders and acknowledged experts in their respective fields. Members of the CAC include: Constance Backhouse, David Matas, Sylvia D. Hamilton, Julie Latour, Derek Evans, Mary Eberts, Diana Majury, Barbara Myers, Steve Prystupa, Laurie Beachell, Ken Norman, Dr. Patricia Monture, Jennifer Breakspear, Natasha Bakht and Jaime Battiste.

Each region of the country will be consulted to ensure that the development of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is representative of all Canadians.

"We are eager to begin a dialogue with the public on their expectations for the Museum," said Patrick O'Reilly, Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. "Canadians have interesting stories and unique perspectives on human rights, and we look forward to including these in the Museum."

The CAC invites human rights organizations, community groups, cultural organizations and individuals interested in engaging in these sessions to contact the Canadian Museum for Human Rights for more information. The first session will be held in Saskatoon on May 27. All of the sessions will be available in French and English, and will be fully accessible.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights was established to provide a place for Canadians, and the world, to explore and promote the subject of human rights and to encourage human rights action. It is the first national museum established in over 40 years, and it is the first national museum to be located outside the National Capital Region. It is projected to open in 2012.

For further information, go to


May 27, 2009 Saskatoon, SK

June 8, 2009 Iqaluit, NU

June 11, 2009 Ottawa, ON

September 21, 2009 St. John's, NFLD

September 23, 2009 Halifax, NS

October 5, 2009 Quebec City, QC

October 7, 2009 Chicoutimi, QC

October 27, 2009 Whitehorse, YK

October 29, 2009 Yellowknife, NWT

November 3, 2009 Moncton, NB

November 5, 2009 Charlottetown, PEI

November 17, 2009 Edmonton, AB

November 18, 2009 Calgary, AB

December 1, 2009 Toronto, ON

December 3, 2009 Thunder Bay, ON

December 7, 2009 Vancouver, BC

January 12, 2010 Montreal, QC

January 26, 2010 Winnipeg, MB


Yude Henteleff, C.M., Q.C. LL.D. (Hon.)

Yude Henteleff has been a human rights advocate for over 40 years, working on a wide range of human rights issues including mental and physical disabilities, special needs children and children's rights, and discrimination in the workplace. He is a founding partner of and senior counsel with the legal firm of Pitblado LLP of Winnipeg. Among his many community affiliations, he is a member of the Advisory Council for Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights, the Professional Advisory Committee of the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada National Framework Review Committee for Child & Adolescent Mental Health and the Winnipeg Arts Council. In 1997 he was named to the Order of Canada and in 2008 he received the Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba for his work on human rights issues. Mr. Henteleff is the chair of the CMHR Content Advisory Committee and a member of the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Campaign Cabinet.

Constance Backhouse, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., C.M.

Constance Backhouse is a Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and has taught a variety of subjects including human rights, women's rights and Canadian legal history. She has served as the Director of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Ottawa and she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Claire L'Heureux-Dube Fund for Social Justice and the Women's Education and Research Foundation of Ontario. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2008. Ms. Backhouse is the Vice Chair of the Content Advisory Committee.

Natasha Bakht, B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.M.

Natasha Bakht is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's faculty of law. She teaches criminal law, family law and multicultural rights in liberal democracies. She was called to the bar of Ontario in 2003 and served as a law clerk to Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada. Natasha's research interests are generally in the area of law, culture and minority rights and specifically in the intersecting area of religious freedom and women's equality. She has written extensively on the issue of religious arbitration in family law. Her most recent work examines opposition to women who wear the niqab in the courtroom context. Natasha is a member of the Law Program Committee of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She also tours internationally as an Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer.

Jaime Battiste, LL.B.

Jaime Battiste is from Eskasoni First Nation and is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School. Jaime is currently senior advisor for the Eskasoni First Nation Community, the largest Mi'kmaq community in the world. He is a former professor at Cape Breton University where he taught Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and Mi'kmaq History. Jamie was also the Aboriginal First Nations Youth Role Model for 2004-2005 and a chair of the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council in 2005-2006. He is one of the founding members of the Mi'kmaq Maliseet Atlantic Youth Council and continues to be legal advisor to the Mi'kmaq Grand Council the hereditarial governing structure for the Mi'kmaq.

Laurie Beachell, B.A.

Laurie Beachell has been the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) since 1984 and has been active in advancing the human rights of persons with disabilities for over 30 years. He has served on numerous federal government committees and task forces as a representative of persons with disabilities. Recently he was a member the Minister of Finance's Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities. He has made numerous presentations to Parliamentary Committees and conferences and coordinated CCD's human rights and social policy advocacy work for the past 25 years. Through his work with CCD, he has worked collaboratively with numerous other equality seeking organizations to advance a substantive theory of equality.

Jennifer Breakspear, B.P.A.P.M.

As a human rights activist, Jennifer Breakspear has worked on issues affecting many different populations, communities and causes including women's rights, LGTB rights, and international human rights. Her research and writing has focused on our evolving understanding of international human rights law, state sovereignty and humanitarian intervention. She owns Anderson Breakspear Consulting, a firm which provides writing, editing and research solutions for non-profit organizations and progressive businesses and specializes in public policy issues, particularly in regards to equality and rights. Ms. Breakspear is the Executive Director of The Centre, a community resource providing support, health and social services, and public education for the well being of lesbians, gay men, transgendered and bisexual people and their allies in Vancouver and throughout BC.

Mary Eberts, L.S.M., B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. (Hon.)

Mary Eberts is a lawyer, author, and lecturer on issues of women's equality, Aboriginal rights, human rights and the Charter. She was involved in the framing of the Charter's equality guarantees, and has acted as counsel in many leading cases under the Charter, in the Supreme Court of Canada and Courts of Appeal. She is a co-founder of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and for eighteen years has been litigation counsel to the Native Women's Association of Canada. Her law practice is national in scope, from a base in Toronto; in 2004-2005, she held the Gordon Henderson Chair in Human Rights at the University of Ottawa. Ms. Eberts has received numerous awards for her work, including the Governor-General's Award in Honour of the Persons Case, the Law Society Medal, and several honorary degrees.

Derek Evans, B.A.

Derek Evans has been working in the fields of development, human rights and education for over 25 years, and has worked extensively with non-governmental organizations all over the world. He has served as the Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International, and also as the Executive Director of the Naramata Centre for Continuing Education. In 2005, Mr. Evans founded Evans & Associates, a consulting firm providing professional training, resources and consultancy in the areas of human rights, conflict transformation and strategic development. He is an Associate of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University, and the founding Executive Director of CUSO-VSO, an international development agency addressing implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in some 43 countries. He has led over 70 international delegations on peace, human rights and development issues, and continues to be a prominent figure and authority on these issues.

Sylvia D. Hamilton, B.A., M.A.., LL.D., D.Litt.

Sylvia D. Hamilton is a multi awarding Nova Scotian filmmaker and writer, known for her documentary films as well as her publications, public presentations and extensive volunteer work with artistic, social and cultural organizations on the local and national levels. Much of her work explores the history and contributions of African Canadians. Major recognitions include a Gemini Award, Nova Scotia's Portia White Prize for Excellence in the Arts, the CBC Television Pioneer Award and honourary doctorates from Saint Mary's and Dalhousie Universities. Her most recent film is The Little Black School House. She teaches at King's College in Halifax.

Julie Latour, LL.B., B.C.L.

Julie Latour is a Montreal lawyer, a former Batonnier of the Bar of Montreal (2006-2007) and Past-President of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division (2004). Since the inception of her practice in 1988, and throughout her mandates at the helm of the Bar, she has demonstrated a tireless commitment in promoting equality and the advancement of women within the legal profession and the community. A renowned speaker, she is currently Co-Chair of the CBA-Quebec's Women Lawyers Forum. Since 1994, she has been practising with the Legal Affairs Division of Loto-Quebec and its subsidiaries, mainly in commercial law, litigation, intellectual property and human rights. She is a member of both the Quebec and New York State Bars.

Diana Majury, B.A., LL.B, LL.M., S.J.D.

Diana Majury is an associate professor in the Department of Law at Carleton University. She has been an active feminist for the past 30 years working primarily in the women's movement on human rights, equality, violence against women and lesbian issues. She has been actively involved in both the National Association of Women and the Law and the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund since their beginnings. She is currently a member of the Women's Court of Canada project steering committee.

David Matas, B.A., B.C.L., M.A., C.M.

David Matas is a prominent human rights lawyer that has played an active role in defending human rights for over 30 years. He has worked with numerous human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Beyond Borders and B'nai Brith Canada. He has served as part of the Canadian delegation to many international conferences such as the United Nations Conference on an International Criminal Court, the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, and the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Matas was awarded the Manitoba Bar Association Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2009.

Patricia Monture, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. (Hon)

Dr. Patricia Monture is Mohawk from Six Nations at Grand River. Patricia is a Professor with the Department of Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan where she is the Academic Coordinator of the Aboriginal Justice and Criminology program. Her research and teaching cover a range of human rights topics, including self-government, Aboriginal justice, the Canadian legal system as well as women's rights and equality. Her research has lead to the publication of two books and numerous journal articles as well as book chapters. As an advisor to the Native Women's Association of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and many local First Nations communities she has shared her experience on a variety of issues. Dr. Monture received the Human Rights in Action Award in 2008 from the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and the Sarah Shorten Award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Barbara Myers, B.A., M.C.P., M.P.P.I.

Barbara Myers is currently the Director of Business Development for Number TEN Architectural Group. She specializes in urban planning as well as museum planning and consultation. She has prepared business plans, feasibility studies, and public and educational programs for numerous museums, including the National Museums of Canada, the Manitoba Museum and the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Manitoba Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council.

Ken Norman, B.A., LL.B., B.C.L.

Ken Norman is a Professor of Law, specializing in Human Rights, at the University of Saskatchewan. Mr. Norman was the first Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. He is an editor of the Human Rights Digest and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Human Rights Reporter. He was appointed by the Council of Canadian Law Deans and by the Canadian Bar Association to the Board of Directors of the Court Challenges Program. He has served as counsel to the Canadian Indian Claims Commission, the Saskatoon Legal Assistance Clinic, and the Saskatchewan Ombudsman.

Steve Prystupa, B.A., M.A.

Steve Prystupa has extensive curatorial experience and exhibit planning, gained through his professional history with various museums across Canada. He has served as curator of history and multicultural studies at the Manitoba Museum, as Prairie and Northern Historian with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and as museum funding consultant with the Department of Canadian Heritage. He is also a freelance Museum and Heritage Consultant and has provided consultation services to many community museums. He has a keen interest in innovative museum interpretive techniques and continues to study, evaluate and apply these techniques to new exhibits.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights
    Angela Cassie
    Director of Communications and Public Engagement