VICTORIA, B.C. – The Royal BC Museum announced today that 21 First Nations communities across B.C., including the Treaty 8 Tribal Association in Northeast B.C., have been granted funding to support repatriation work.

The repatriation grants announced by the Museum this morning total $586,160, of which the Treaty 8 Tribal Association will be receiving $21,883. The funding will allow the First Nations to support a host of repatriation activities, ranging from establishing planning committees to facilitating the return of ancestral remains to home communities.

“Museums around the world, including the Royal BC Museum, have a moral obligation to support Indigenous communities engaged in repatriation,” said Museum CEO Professor Jack Lohman. “Providing this financial support for repatriation projects across the province is one way for this museum to put its full institutional weight behind reconciliation efforts.”

The repatriation grant program is the first of its kind in Canada, the Museum said that it is an important part of the ongoing collaboration between the it and Indigenous communities in B.C. to address the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the direction provided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.