July 8, 2017

Community puts Big Oil on display in alternative exhibit calling on Museum of History to cut ties with industry group

For immediate release

July 7, 2017

Community puts Big Oil on display in alternative exhibit calling on Museum of History to cut ties with industry group

Ottawa, ON – Residents of the National Capital Region have designed an alternative exhibit to spread the word about the Museum of History’s close ties to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Today, these community members are “putting CAPP on display” at the Museum of History.

The Canadian Museum of History has, for the past 5 years, accepted sponsorship from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. CAPP is one of the national presenting sponsors of Canada History Hall in celebration of Canada 150.

This partnership that has drawn concern from many both in the capital region and nationally. That’s because CAPP represents the biggest oil and gas companies in the country, many with operations in the Alberta tar sands.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, Stop-it-at-the-Source campaigner with 350.org, says these companies have no regard for Indigenous Rights or the science of climate change. “The Museum of History is no place for climate denial, no place for ignoring Indigenous rights and no place for lobbyists who work to gut Canada’s environmental protections. Simply put, the Museum of History is no place for CAPP.”

Thomas-Muller also expressed concerns about CAPP’s sponsorship of new Canada History Hall, which opened on July 1st. “CAPP has been a part of some of the largest attacks on Indigenous rights and culture in recent memory. Now, the fact that they’re plastering their logo all over something meant to honour the history of this land is, frankly, beyond offensive,” Thomas-Muller explained.

In March, 350.org launched a campaign calling on the Museum of History to cut ties with the lobby group once and for all. In April, community members attended the Museum’s Annual General Meeting to express their concern over the sponsorship. After they all made powerful interventions calling on the Museum’s CEO, Mark O’Neill, to cut ties with CAPP, the group delivered over 6,000 petition signatures from people across Canada.

Today, they are outside “putting CAPP on display” to show the egregious work CAPP does to undermine climate action in the face of a climate crisis, and trampling Indigenous rights to expand the tar sands and build pipelines.

Katie Perfitt, the Canada Divestment Organizer with 350.org, says she this action will shed a light on the contradictory positions the museum holds. “On the one hand, the Museum of History celebrates Indigenous peoples. On the other hand, they are accepting sponsorship from CAPP — a group lobbying to lift protections for the water, land, and climate. CAPP’s dirty dealings actually sparked the emergence of the Idle No More movement. It’s time for the museum to reconcile this contraction by committing to end this partnership for good. ”

By cutting ties with CAPP, the Museum of History would join the ranks of the Tate Modern in London and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, both of which have cut ties to Big Oil.



Katie Perfitt, 613 250 0302, [email protected]