British Journal of Canadian Studies

Nature and Nation: The Bedrock of Identity at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2007), 20, (1), 51–74.

Abstract

With 'the creation of a symbol of national pride and identity' as the main programmatic objective, no later-twentieth-century Canadian building project reveals a more explicit agenda of homogeneous nation-building than the Canadian Museum of Civilization at Ottawa. Since opening in 1989, the museum building has received a largely favourable reception from both press and profession. However, within the multi-ethnic context of late-twentieth-century Canada, the creation of a physical monument to symbolise a cohesive or unilateral national imagination was undeniably both challenging and contentious, and this article considers the uniting agency of the architectural fabric in this reflection and/or creation of national consciousness. A particular aspect of the design is argued to be the representation of ethnic and national identities in relation to the museum's immediate urban, civic contect, as well as the wider geographical and cultural context.

Access Token
£25.00

Appiah, K. A., The Ethics of Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). The Ethics of Identity Google Scholar

Architecture and Planning Group, National Museums of Canada (ed.), Architectural Programme Synopsis (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1983). Google Scholar

Boddy, T., The Architecture of Douglas Cardinal (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1989). The Architecture of Douglas Cardinal Google Scholar

Bumstead, J.M., The Peoples of Canada. A Post-Confederation History (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2004). The Peoples of Canada. A Post-Confederation History Google Scholar

Burke, E., A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful(London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967). Google Scholar

Cardinal, D., A Vision for the National Museum of Man (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1983). A Vision for the National Museum of Man Google Scholar

Cardinal, D., 'Architecture as a Living Process', Encuentros, 21 (July 1997), pp. 20–39. Architecture as a Living Process Encuentros 21 20 39 Google Scholar

Carter, B., 'An Architecture of Difference: Celebrating Contemporary Canadian Architecture', Canada Academic: Canada House Lecture Series, 64 (26 May 1998). Google Scholar

Charland, M., 'Technological Nationalism', Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, X:1–2 (1986), pp. 196–220. Technological Nationalism Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory X 196 220 Google Scholar

Crowe, N., Nature and the Idea of a Man-Made World (Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 1995). Nature and the Idea of a Man-Made World Google Scholar

Dorrian, M., 'On Some Spatial Aspects of the Colonial Discourse on Ireland', The Journal of Architecture, 6 (Spring 2001), pp. 27–51. On Some Spatial Aspects of the Colonial Discourse on Ireland The Journal of Architecture 6 27 51 Google Scholar

Francis, D., National Dreams: Myth, Memory, and Canadian History (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2003). National Dreams: Myth, Memory, and Canadian History Google Scholar

Francis, R.D., R. Jones, and D.B. Smith, Origins: Canadian History to Confederation (Toronto: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996). Origins: Canadian History to Confederation Google Scholar

Hammett, C., 'The Building of an Architect', Metro (May 1989). Google Scholar

Hough, M., Out of Place: Restoring Identity to the Regional Landscape (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1990). Out of Place: Restoring Identity to the Regional Landscape Google Scholar

Kroker, A., Technology and the Canadian Mind: Innis/McLuhan/Grant (Montreal: New World Perspectives, 1987). Technology and the Canadian Mind: Innis/McLuhan/Grant Google Scholar

Kymlicka, W., Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996). Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights Google Scholar

Kymlicka, W., The Rights of Minority Cultures (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). The Rights of Minority Cultures Google Scholar

Kymlicka, W., Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 1998). Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada Google Scholar

Macdonald, G. and S. Alsford, Museum for the Global Village (Hull: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1989). Museum for the Global Village Google Scholar

Macdonald, G. and D. Cardinal, 'Building Canada's National Museum of Man: An Interpersonal Dialogue', Museum, 149 (1986). Google Scholar

Taylor, C. and A. Gutmann, Multiculturalism and 'The Politics of Recognition' (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992). Multiculturalism and 'The Politics of Recognition' Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Hanks, Laura Hourston