You are hereCivil Society Letter to the Canadian Museum of Nature - Barrick Out
Civil Society Letter to the Canadian Museum of Nature - Barrick Out
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Museum of Nature
Dear Ms. Beckel,
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our concern regarding the Canadian Museum of Nature's decision to accept funds from the Barrick Gold Corporation to create the "Barrick Salon" within the museum. We believe that this partnership and the public promotion of the Barrick Gold Corporation in the Museum represent clear contradictions of the museum's values and that the acceptance by the museum of money in exchange for honouring and promoting Barrick Gold will have negative consequences that extend far beyond the reputation of this museum.
We recognize that families from Canada as well as visitors from around the world hold the Canadian Museum of Nature in high esteem. As stated in the Museum Act, the “Purpose of the Museum of Nature is to increase throughout Canada and internationally, interest in, knowledge of and appreciation and respect for the natural world.” Further, among the museum's core corporate values is “Respect for People and Nature.”
This private partnership with the Barrick Gold Corporation, contradicts the Canadian Museum of Nature's stated vision given Barrick Gold's record of environmental destruction, as well as human, labor and indigenous rights violations.
In addition to the Barrick Gold Corporation's poor environmental, human and Indigenous rights record, the company is very active in lobbying governments against adopting regulations that would mandate better environmental and human rights performance at their mining operations.
Barrick Gold's partnership with the Museum of Nature and the museum’s overt promotion of the company links the museum's reputation to Barrick Gold's tarnished image. While Barrick Gold’s investment in this high-profile partnership will be used to promote a more sustainable image of the company than its operations warrant, the museum's reputation is tarnished in this association that calls into question the regard it holds for its own mandate and values. It is not acceptable for a museum that aims to promote the respect of nature and people to join hands with a corporation with the track record of Barrick Gold, regardless of how lucrative this arrangement may be.
We urge you to withdraw from this partnership and to exercise greater due diligence in entering private partnerships in the future. A museum is responsible for preserving, cherishing and protecting the commons and our natural and cultural history. The Canadian Museum of Nature must remain a public institution with a mandate that is in the public interest. This partnership with Barrick Gold is but one clear example of the problems that arise from turning to corporate funding for program areas. Many of us would be glad to discuss with you the creation of guidelines to help preserve the Museum’s mandate.
[Read background information on Barrick Gold's activities HERE]
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
United Steelworkers Union
Just Investment Coalition, University of Ottawa
Indigenous People's Solidarity Movement of Ottawa
Graduate Students' Association of the University of Ottawa
Council of Canadians
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
Canadians for Mining Awareness
Ottawa Raging Grannies
Project of Heart
Students Against Israeli Apartheid, Carleton University
Carleton University Human Rights Society
Friends of the Earth Canada
Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Interamerican Platform of Human Rights, Democracy and Development