The curator of the Indigenous collection at the Royal B.C. Museum is using his last few days at the museum to draw attention to the racism and gaslighting he says he has experienced. (Courtesy of RBCM)

The curator of the Indigenous collection at the Royal B.C. Museum is using his last few days at the museum to draw attention to the racism and gaslighting he says he has experienced. (Courtesy of RBCM)

Indigenous collections curator calls Royal B.C. Museum ‘wicked place’

Troy Sebastian alleges racism and gaslighting by museum

On the same day the Royal B.C. Museum CEO announced he is stepping down, the curator of the Indigenous collection took to Twitter to say that this will be his last week, writing that the museum “is established as a bastion of white supremacy.”

Troy Sebastian, a Ktunaxa writer, took on the curator position after Lucy Bell resigned as head of the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department in July 2020 citing issues of racism and a lack of diversity. Tweeting on Tuesday, Sebastian said, “the fact is that things have gotten worse since last summer when Lucy Bell raised her concerns. When the museum says it is taking action to address racism accusations it is pure gaslighting.”

RELATED: Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Following Bell’s resignation, a third-party investigation was launched into the museum and a diversity inclusion consultant was hired to conduct training, interviews and a staff survey. In January, the results of that survey came in, and although not made public, were called “not good” by the museum’s board chair, Dan Muzyka.

“The Royal B.C. Museum has outright discrimination, white privilege, bullying, microaggression. This has been my experience as an Indigenous staff person at the museum,” Sebastian tweeted.

In its statement Tuesday, the museum said CEO Jack Lohman is stepping down “as it addresses current internal issues,” but made no mention of the survey results or allegations of racism. Speaking with Black Press Media last month, Muzyka – who will be serving as CEO until a new person is found – said the museum had begun restructuring at the executive level and developing a comprehensive training program for executives and staff.

RELATED: CEO steps down following allegations of systemic racism at Royal BC Museum

Citing article 17.3 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Sebastian called on Premier John Horgan on Tuesday to commit to the declaration and hold the museum to account for “routinely discriminating against Indigenous staff.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Horgan told reporters that he was “very concerned” when he heard about the allegations of racism and that he wished Lohman the best and thanked him for his service to B.C. He said minister Melanie Mark – the only Indigenous woman in legislature – is working with the third-party investigating the museum to make sure all allegations are followed up.

Sebastian said his 6-month contract with the museum ends this Friday and he will be using his last few days to speak publicly as a staff member.

With files from Nina Grossman

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that Sebastian had resigned from his position. In fact, his term was already scheduled to end this Friday.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Greater VictoriaracismRoyal BC Museum

Just Posted

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read