Janis Monture appointed first Indigenous CEO of the Canadian Museums Association
The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) has appointed Janis Kahentóktha Monture as its new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, making Monture the first Indigenous person to hold the position.
“I’m really humbled and excited,” Mounture, executive director of the Woodland Cultural Center in Brantford, Ontario, told CBC Hamilton.
The Woodland Cultural Center is also the site of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School. Dormitory survivors are conducting a search of the property for unmarked graves.
CMA and the cultural center announced in a joint media release earlier this month that Mounte will begin the new role on February 27.
“Janis is passionate about promoting the voices of Indigenous communities and cultures in the museum sector, with a focus on strengthening connections beyond the walls within Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities,” said Allison Lynn, director of the cultural center.
Heather George, CMA President, said Mounte “brings invaluable skills as a seasoned administrator, leader and community builder.”
The Woodland Cultural Center has begun searching for a new executive director, Mounte said.
A member of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan of Six Nations of the Grand River, Mounture served on the steering committee of the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures.
She was also Director of Tourism and Cultural Initiatives for the Six Nations of Grand River Development Corporation.
Mounture said her new CMA role will include analyzing the association to see where it currently stands and outlining a new strategic vision for the next five to 10 years.
In this role, she will also implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 67th call to action – a national review in collaboration with indigenous communities of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples .
She will also expand the association’s capacity to support the museum sector and build international relationships.
“It comes with a lot of responsibility and I don’t take it lightly,” said Outfit.