FREDERICTON-The six chiefs of the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick want the return of Indigenous artifacts from the New Brunswick Museum.
In a statement today, the chiefs called on Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn to begin the process of returning the unspecified items.
The museum recently announced the closure of its exhibition space in Market Square in Saint John and said artifacts were being placed in storage.
The Wolastoqey chiefs say they are concerned about what the closure means for the fate of items that have significant cultural value, adding that it’s time they are returned to their “rightful owners.”
The chiefs say members of their community have held discussions dating back years with the province regarding the repatriation of artifacts, including human remains, from repositories in New Brunswick, in other provinces and around the world.
They say the discussions came to halt more than a year ago when they were told the provincial government was conducting an internal review of First Nations initiatives.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2022.