Initiative supports commitment to build community and ensure Indigenous perspectives at the ROM
TORONTO, May 22, 2018 — The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Youth Cabinet and Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories, are pleased to release The Journey: Friday Nights at the Museum, an anthology of personal stories and poems inspired by Indigenous ancestral objects in the ROM’s collections.
“This innovative digital project has provided the ROM’s Youth Cabinet with the opportunity to explore deep rooted questions about identity, objects and the role art and culture play in how we understand the world around us,” said Mark Engstrom, ROM Deputy Director, Collections and Research. “We are thrilled to be part of this invaluable project and are grateful to everyone who has come together, working collaboratively, to make this possible.”
The Journey is a milestone project for both the ROM and Wattpad. It is the only museum anthology on the platform, and the first museum-based project produced by the publisher.
“Wattpad is a place where millions of writers all over the world express their unique voices and experiences, and this diversity is what makes the platform so special,” said Ashleigh Gardner, Deputy General Manager, Wattpad Studios, Publishing. “Wattpad’s vision is to entertain and connect the world through stories, and the ROM Youth Cabinet anthology is a wonderful example of just that. We’re proud to work with the ROM and the ROM Youth Cabinet, and can’t wait to see our global audience discover these wonderful stories.”
The ROM's Youth Cabinet, an integrated group of culturally diverse youth, meets regularly to build leadership skills, explore their communities, and tell their stories. Each cohort of the ROM Youth Cabinet is comprised of 8 to 10 members, between the ages of 16 and 20, residing in the Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The Cabinet is led by Leslie McCue, a member of Mississaugas of Curve Lake First Nation, who is a ROM Indigenous Knowledge Resource Teacher.
Two groups of Youth Cabinet members have contributed to the anthology. The first group was supported by Monique Mojica, embodied storyteller and artistic director of Chocolate Woman Collective from the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations. She worked alongside Ernie Sandy, Anishinaabeg elder, with writing and editing support provided by Cree/Métis Writer Tyler Pennock. The second group was supported by Nimkii Osawamick, Champion Hoop Dancer from Wikwemikong; Lindy Kinoshameg, Prairie Chicken Dancer from Wikwemikong; Monique Mojica; Australian musician Mitch Tambo, and Inuit poet and spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge.
This announcement marks the latest of several initiatives the ROM has undertaken to build community and ensure Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are reflected at the ROM. Recently, the Museum opened the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture free-of-charge to the public as part of the broader effort to foster greater appreciation of the Indigenous collections stewarded by the Museum, and to support the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The ROM gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Government for its financial support of the anthology project. The ROM Youth Cabinet program is generously supported by The Slaight Family Foundation. The program is led by the ROM Learning Department, guided by the ROM Indigenous Advisory Circle, and is delivered by Indigenous staff and community members.
Read and listen to The Journey: Friday Nights at the Museum on Wattpad:
More information about joining the ROM Youth Cabinet visit:
For more about the ROM Indigenous Advisory Circle visit: