Sdahl Ḵ’awaas (Lucy Bell)

2021 Sterling Prize ceremony and lecture: Challenging the role of museums in an era of reconciliation

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. 

In 2020, Sdahl K’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 K’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 K’awaas, who continues to support the Haida Nation’s repatriation efforts while working toward her PhD in individualized interdisciplinary studies at Simon Fraser University, will receive the Sterling Prize at a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 14. The ceremony will be held at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver and will be livestreamed for the public.

At this event, Sdahl K’awaas will lead 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 PhD candidate and co-curator of exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum; and the audience.

Hear more from Sdahl K’awaas in this SFU News story and in the video below.

When

Thursday, October 14, 2021

6:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Online event

This online event will be livestreamed from the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.

A link and password to access this online event will be emailed to all registrants via Eventbrite shortly before the event.

Accessibility

ASL interpretation will be available at this event. Participants will need to join from a laptop or desktop computer in order to view the ASL interpretation properly.

Closed captioning in English will be available at this event.

The event will be recorded, and a link to the captioned video recording will be emailed to all registrants after the event.

If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact psqevent@sfu.ca.

Respondents

 

Jisgang (Nika Collison)

 

Jisgang, Nika Collison, belongs to the Kaay'ahl Laanas of the Haida Nation. She is executive director and curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay and has worked in the field of arts and heritage for more than 20 years. Deeply committed to reconciliation, Nika is a senior repatriation negotiator for her Nation, pursuing reparation and relationships with museums on a global scale; she serves on the board of directors of the Royal BC Museum as well as the newly formed Canadian Museums Association's National Museums and Indigenous Issues Council. In 2017 she received the international Michael M. Ames Award for Innovative Museum Anthropology from the Council for Museum Anthropology for her work in repatriation and Indigenous scholarship, and was named one of the top 10 Cultural Professionals for 2017 by the BC Museums Association. Nika holds a financial management diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

 

Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra

 

Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. She's co-curator of exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum (Gur Sikh Temple National Historic Site), coordinator at the South Asian Studies Institute and a sessional history instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), and a co-chair of UFV's Race and Antiracism Network. Sharn is a past BC Museums Association council member and is currently a director with the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration Society. Her research interests involve looking at museums, critical race theory and affect, Sikh migration in 20th-century British Columbia, and interracial solidarities as a movement towards anti-racism. She has been collecting Sikh migration stories for more than 10 years. Resistance, protest and power are the driving forces from which she works, including through highlighting the Sikh community as Canadian history in all its complexities and evolution.

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.

In the news

Partner

Accessibility, technology and privacy

Accessibility

ASL interpretation will be available at this event. Participants will need to join from a laptop or desktop computer in order to view the ASL interpretation properly.

Closed captioning in English will be available at this event.

The event will be recorded, and a link to the captioned video recording will be emailed to all registrants after the event.

If you have any questions about accessibility for this event, please contact psqevent@sfu.ca.

Registration and password

A link and password to access this online event will be emailed to all registrants via Eventbrite shortly before the event.

Technology requirements

To engage in this online event, you will need a computer (laptop or desktop), tablet or smartphone, with speakers or headphones. A microphone and/or a webcam are recommended if you would like to fully participate in the interactive portions of this event.

We recommend that you use a computer for the best experience of this event. Some interactivity and accessibility features, including ASL interpretation, are not available when using a smartphone or tablet.

Protecting your privacy

This event will be recorded, but only the speakers will be visible in the published recording. The recording will be shared with all registrants and published on SFU Public Square’s website, YouTube and social media channels.

To ensure that we are using online event technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the event link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password-protect the event
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking

To protect your own privacy:

  • We remind you that whatever you say during the event is public, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others:

  • Please do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the event, unless permission is requested and given.

If you have any questions about this event’s accessibility, technology requirements or privacy, please connect with us at psqevent@sfu.ca.

Community guidelines

Our community guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of all guest speakers and event participants, and to foster honest, socially accountable dialogue at our events. Thank you for respecting these guidelines!

  • Above all, there will be zero tolerance for those who promote violence or discrimination against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, or disability. Anyone who incites harm towards other participants (whether through chat, video, audio or otherwise) will be removed at the discretion of our technical team and moderator.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or appearance. Please refer to people using the usernames and/or pronouns they provide.
  • Take space, make space: share your perspective, and make space for other voices to be heard too. Recognize that we are all here to learn.
  • Practice self-care in whatever way you need to. If you need to get up or take a break, please do so.