Exploring the Advancement of Human Rights in Winnipeg, MB

IDC4U Students
Students in the Grade 12 issues in human rights course travelled to the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, MB on November 8. The Canadian Human Rights Museum features a history of human rights from the times of Cyrus the Great to the present, highlighting contributions to the advancement of human rights.

Students participated in a two-day program that featured a guided tour of the entire museum, followed by a guided tour by the curator of the Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibit. Programming included Indigenous rights, when rights are denied and women’s rights. Students participated in experiential learning activities, using multimedia resources, motion sensing video players and touch screen informative resources which they found to be an effective use of teaching and learning for hands-on learners.

After exploring the museum's wide range of exhibits, students were able to brainstorm ideas for their project – specifically working on one that addresses a specific issue in human rights.

Student Reflections

“The Canadian Human Rights Museum used a combination of architecture and ambience to convey messages.”- Ethan C.

“The Canadian Human Rights Museum really shed light on all aspects of human rights including genocides, Indigenous peoples, and Nelson Mandela and his fight with apartheid.” - Ivy H.

“The Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibit featured the life and history of Nelson Mandela and his journey in ending apartheid and fighting for civil rights in Africa. Historical ballot boxes and legal documents were vital parts of the exhibit. I learned how governments could easily suspend human rights, such as when Pierre Elliott Trudeau restricted the civil liberties of citizens during the FLQ crisis using the Wartime Measures Act.” - Shayan N.

“The Canadian Human Rights Museum was an amazing place to learn more about the history of Indigenous rights and the struggles they faced due to the discrimination against their culture. This was especially interesting to learn about for me because my great great grandpa was Indigenous, so this museum allowed me to learn more about my family history.” - Sophie P.

“One way of learning could be through research on the internet and reading numerous stories and articles about each of our particular topics. The more impactful and hands-on way of learning is at a space like the Canadian Human Rights Museum. The use of multimedia resources, hands-on learning, videos, images, real-life examples and truly being there in the moment has impacted me and the way I perceive various issues regarding human rights. This would be an awesome trip for the art students to attend as well if there is a unit on studying architecture, as the building is built in a very unique way. The building is truly spectacular, each time you turn in a different direction there is something built differently in a very interesting and impactful way according to various issues in human rights.” - Amanda R.

“The museum featured stories of Indigenous Canadians and how the government attempted to oppress and assimilate them into mainstream Canada.” - Brandon S.

“One quote that stood out to me while walking through the Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibit was ‘It always seems impossible until it's done’.” - Victoria S.