Canadian Museum of Civilization curator’s radio series wins Dialogue Award

June 25, 2009

Canadian Museum of Civilization curator’s radio series wins Dialogue Award

Gatineau, Quebec, June 24, 2009 — A radio series written and narrated by Canadian Museum of Civilization curator Stephen Augustine has been recognized for bringing New Brunswick’s anglophone, francophone and Mi’kmaq communities closer together.

In Mon people: les Mi’kmaq/The Mi’kmaq: my people, Augustine recounted the sweeping history of the Mi’kmaq from before their first contact with Europeans in the 16th century until the present day. This oral history series produced by Radio-Canada Acadie and CBC Maritimes received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Award at a ceremony today in Moncton. 

Augustine is the Museum of Civilization’s Curator of Ethnology for the Eastern Maritimes. An elder of the Elsipogtog (Big Cove) First Nation in New Brunswick and Hereditary Chief of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council, he is a renowned storyteller and an expert on the traditional practices, language and history of his people.

“Working on this radio series was a deeply moving experience that allowed me not only to share my culture’s rich oral tradition, but to help New Brunswick’s anglophone, francophone and Mi’kmaq residents better understand each other,” Augustine says. “I am honoured that Radio-Canada Acadie and CBC Maritimes gave me the opportunity to participate in the series, and I am pleased that our efforts have been recognized with a Dialogue Award.”

“Stephen Augustine, Radio-Canada and CBC have contributed enormously to our country’s collective knowledge with this radio series,” says Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “Celebrating different cultural perspectives is at the heart of the Museum’s mandate, so we are thrilled when our staff can collaborate on such worthwhile projects as this one.”

Established in 2003, New Brunswick’s annual Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Awards honour individuals and groups that show leadership in fostering understanding, mutual respect and appreciation between the province’s English-speaking and French-speaking communities. It is presented by the Honourable Herménégilde Chiasson, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, and sponsored by the non-profit organization Dialogue New Brunswick.

Augustine was honoured in 2009 with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Culture, Heritage and Spirituality. He has organized cross-cultural workshops and shared his expertise with many organizations, including the United Nations, the Assembly of First Nations, government departments and various First Nations communities across Canada. His book Mi’kmaq & Maliseet Cultural Ancestral Material (Mercury Series, CMC, 2005) is a valuable resource for academic researchers and educators alike.

The Museum is Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, attracting more than 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum of Civilization’s role is to preserve and promote the heritage of Canada, contributing to the enhancement of Canadian identity. The Museum is also home to the Canadian Postal Museum and the Canadian Children&