Sdahl Ḵ’awaas (Lucy Bell) | 2021 Sterling Prize Ceremony and Lecture: Challenging the role of museums in an era of reconciliation
2021, Equity + Justice, Sterling Prize, Indigenous Voices
Sdahl Ḵ’awaas (also known as Lucy Bell) is the recipient of the 2021 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for her bravery in calling out racism in the heritage field and advocating for change in an era of reconciliation.
In 2020, Sdahl Ḵ’awaas resigned as the head of the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department at the Royal British Columbia Museum, citing personal and institutional racism. Since then, Sdahl Ḵ’awaas, a member of the Haida Nation, has called on museums to reflect on themselves and be more accountable, anti-racist institutions. She says now is the time for museums to reflect on their colonial legacy, foster better relationships with Indigenous people and address racism within the workplace.
Sdahl Ḵ’awaas, who continues to support the Haida Nation’s repatriation efforts while working toward her Ph.D. in individualized interdisciplinary studies at Simon Fraser University, will receive the Sterling Prize and deliver a lecture on these issues on Thursday, Oct. 14. The award ceremony will be held at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver and will be livestreamed for the public.
After a short lecture, Sdahl Ḵ’awaas will engage in a conversation with Jisgang (Nika Collison), the executive director of the Haida Gwaii Museum and a board member of the Royal BC Museum; Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, UBC history Ph.D. candidate and co-curator of exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum; and the audience.
Hear more from Sdahl Ḵ’awaas in this SFU News story and in the video below.
6:30 p.m. (PT)
ASL interpretation and closed captioning in English will be available at this event.
About the Sterling Prize
The Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy was first awarded in 1993 and remains committed to recognizing work that provokes and contributes to the understanding of controversy, while presenting new ways of looking at the world and challenging complacency. The prize recognizes work across disciplines and departments and is awarded annually by the Sterling Prize committee.
On this page
- Epidemic Exploitation of Museum Workers — fullyloadedcamel, Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers (October 18, 2021)
- The prize for controversy: The former Royal B.C. Museum official who cited personal and systemic racism in her resignation last year is now being formally honoured for her public stand — Kathryn Marlow, CBC's On The Island with Gregor Craigie (August 27, 2021)
- Sterling Prize recipient challenges racism and role of museums in era of reconciliation — SFU News (August 26, 2021)
2021 Sterling Prize Ceremony and Lecture with Sdahl Ḵ'awaas (Lucy Bell)
Sdahl K’awaas (also known as Lucy Bell) is the recipient of the 2021 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for her bravery in calling out racism in the heritage field and advocating for change in an era of reconciliation.
Read More →
2020 Sterling Prize Ceremony and Lecture with Tamara Starblanket
Tamara Starblanket is the recipient of the 2020 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for her book Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State. Starblanket’s book provides an exacting international legal analysis of genocide and makes publicly comprehensible its many human and moral dimensions.
Read More →
2018 Sterling Prize Ceremony and Lecture with Layla Cameron
Layla Cameron, a journalist, filmmaker, fat activist, and Simon Fraser University Ph.D. student, is the recipient of the 2018 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for her work on issues surrounding body size and image, including the institutional and systemic discrimination faced by fat people.
Read More →
2017 Sterling Prize Ceremony and Lecture with Donald MacPherson
Donald MacPherson, the Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, is the recipient of the 2017 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for his work and influence in public health, human rights, and drug policy reform in Canada.
Read More →