Burial Archaeology: Current Research Methods and by Charlotte A. Roberts, Frances Lee, and John Bintliff (eds)

By Charlotte A. Roberts, Frances Lee, and John Bintliff (eds)

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However, because the change from an internal to an external emphasis is so great, and yet so vital to survival, the quality of thinking and planning to develop this side of museum work must be of the best. In the past the museum curator acted as the definer of the museum message, with content and mode of communication chosen because he or she felt that it was right. The effectiveness of the exhibition in relation to the reception of the message was not in question. Now we understand that this is no longer justifiable, and that people must find museums interesting and useful in order for them to survive.

Chief Bernard Ominayak wrote to museums around the world who were planning to lend objects to the exhibition, asking them not to do so: the Calgary Winter Olympics are being sponsored by basically the same interests which are systematically trying to wipe us out as a people, so that they can steal our aboriginal lands and the valuable gas and oil resources that our aboriginal 20 Forces for change lands contain…. Display of these artifacts by the Glenbow…could only serve to support efforts by these same interests to achieve international respectability and credibility.

The examples of how these skills might be demonstrated suggest using artefacts from a museum; for example making ‘deductions about social groups in Victorian Britain by looking at the clothes people wore’ (National Curriculum Council, 1991). Curricula from many other subject areas, such as science and art, also offer enormous and sometimes unexpected opportunities for museums of all sorts (Goodhew, 1989; Copeland, 1991; Pownall and Hutson, 1991). In part, the relevance of the National Curriculum to museums and galleries reflects the work put into assessing and responding to the curriculum proposals by the Group for Education in Museums.

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