The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the world’s first museum dedicated entirely to human rights awareness and education. Located in Winnipeg, the site of past human rights triumphs and struggles, the museum is the first new national museum in almost 50 years to be built outside the capital, Ottawa.
Within the Canadian Museum for Human Rights you’ll find 11 different galleries. Exhibit topics are far from the ordinary for museums. Themes range all the way from genocide and torture to everyday subjects such as school bullying.
American architect Antoine Predock’s moniker is impressively made to look like a mountain swathed in a cloud of glass that represents dove wings hugging the building. The $351-million building takes up almost 24,300 square metres, about the size of four football fields, and is located on a site of Treaty One land near the historical juncture of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers at The Forks.
The galleries are accessed via a dazzling labyrinth of softly sloping walkways, each covered in luminous alabaster imported from Spain. The largest of the galleries, 'Canadian Journeys', examines Canada’s somewhat conflicting human rights history. Learn how the country has been both a refuge and a place of hardship for immigrants over the past centuries.
Perhaps most unique is the 'Actions Count' gallery, a youth-focussed space that explores modern topics such as the wearing of the hijab and harassment of LGBTTQ students.
Other interesting galleries explore more traditional international storylines such as the Holocaust and subsequent recognition of human rights - it even turns out that a Canadian wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Take the guided exhibit to truly understand and appreciate the museum. Headphones are provided at time of the tour so you can still listen to the tour guide while exploring the exhibits. There is plenty of time to explore the museum at your own pace after the tour.
Finish your day with an elevated view from the top spier of the museum overlooking downtown Winnipeg, the historic The Forks area and the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.