Decolonizing Representations of Queerness at the CMHR

By Jana Elazar*


This audio guide draws on the work of Nicole Robert and Marcus Ware to explore the potential consequences of the apolitical inclusion of marginalized peoples in museums. It seeks to interrogate these issues as they relate to Two Spiritedness and Indigiqueerness, and challenge the settler-colonial narratives in the museum.

Click here to read the audio guide script.

Sourced Consulted

  • Cannon, Martin. “The Regulation of First Nations Sexuality.” Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies, edited by Maureen FitzGerald, Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2012, pp. 51–63.
  • Gilley, Brian Joseph. “Two-Spirit Men’s Sexual Survivance Against the Inequality of Desire.” Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature, edited by Qwo-Li Driskill et al., University of Arizona Press, 2011, pp. 123–131.
  • Introduction: All Museums Are Sex Museums.Sex Museums: the Politics and Performance of Display, by Jennifer Tyburczy, The University of Chicago Press, 2016, pp. 1–37.
  • Ritchie, Nicole. “Queering Museums: Questions of Space, Affect, and the (Non)Normative.” TSpace, University of Toronto, 2015.
  • Robert, Nicole. “Getting Intersectional in Museums.” Museums & Social Issues, vol. 9, no. 1, 2014, pp. 24–33., doi:10.1179/1559689314z.00000000017.
  • Smith, Andrea. “Queer Theory and Native Studies: The Heteronormativity of Settler Colonialism.Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature, edited by Qwo-Li Driskill et al., University of Arizona Press, 2011, pp. 43–6
  • Spirit Panels.” CMHR Spirit Panels, Canadian Museum of Human Rights,
  • Ware, Syrus Marcus. “All Power to All People?” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, 2017, pp. 170180., doi:10.1215/23289252-3814961.

Sound Credits
Voice: Jana Elazar

  • “Ambient Chords 3.” Freesound, uploaded by Gregsteve, 8 January 2014,
  • “Crowd Walla, Rijksmusem, Amsterdam, NL.” Freesound, uploaded by nebulousflynn, 17 July 2015,

Image Credit
This image, taken by Amy Mazowita, is of a wooden “Spirit Panel” on the exterior of the Indigenous Perspectives gallery at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).

Click here to return to the main page to see the other audio guides.

*Imagined, designed, recorded, and edited by Jana Elazar. Mastered by Julia Dyck.