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Guides for Exploring

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Children 7 to 12 This suggested pathway takes about one hour.

  1. LEVEL 1

    Bonnie & John Buhler Hall

    You’re about to begin your adventure.

    The whole building represents a climb from darkness to light. You start below ground level in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall and take a quest-like journey up a series of ramps connecting the galleries. Near the top, you can take a glass elevator ride to the viewing platform at the Israel Asper Tower of Hope.

    At the start of your journey, there’s a projection of people writing “Welcome” on a wall in many languages. This tells you that everyone is welcome at the Museum. No matter where you’re from, how old you are or what your abilities are, you belong here.

    Have a look at the model of the Museum. Can you see how the building has stone “roots” that anchor it to the earth, a “mountain” section that is heavy and solid, and a “Cloud” made of glass?

    Find the bronze cast of a human footprint and try putting your foot in it. Imagine, hundreds of years ago, someone wearing a moccasin left this print on the land where the Museum now stands.

  2. LEVEL 2

    Indigenous Perspectives

    In this gallery, you can sit inside the circular theatre to watch a short, family-friendly film about Indigenous ways of viewing rights and responsibilities. On the wraparound movie screen, you’ll meet people from four generations and explore the idea that everyone and everything is interconnected.

    Find the beadwork sample that you can touch. Feel how tiny each bead is and how much care went into the beading. Then look up to see one of the largest examples of Métis beadwork anywhere in the world.

  3. LEVEL 2

    Canadian Journeys

    Join in the motion-sensor Lights of Inclusion game in the centre of the gallery. Watch how your movements activate a “bubble” of coloured light on the floor around you. What happens when you interact and co-operate with other players?

    Visit the alcoves in this gallery to learn Canadian stories about how people have worked to protect rights and freedoms.

    One Woman’s Resistance: Viola Desmond challenged racial segregation. Get a theatre seat and watch a video showing how Viola Desmond’s experience in a Nova Scotia movie theatre made her stand up for equality.

    Inclusion for All: Turn the pages of this interactive book to connect with stories of strength and resilience about the rights of people with disabilities.

    Escape from Oppression: This is the amazing story of the Underground Railroad, a secret network that helped people escape slavery in the United States to freedom in Canada.

    Banned from the Ballot: Try this interactive quiz to see whether you would have been allowed to vote in Canada’s 1917 election.

  4. LEVEL 3

    Protecting Rights in Canada

    Can you find the map of Canada made out of people? Look at the words in this map that relate to the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Discover how the Charter safeguards important rights and freedoms for every Canadian.

  5. LEVEL 3

    Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation

    Take a break and relax in this peaceful, open space. Look at all the windows that make up the building’s glass Cloud. Gaze up to see the towering elevator shaft and spiral staircase that lead to the Israel Asper Tower of Hope.

  6. LEVEL 4

    Turning Points for Humanity

    Do you know who wrote the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Learn more about John Peters Humphrey’s story.

    Have fun using arm gestures to control the video in the digital books. You’ll learn about children’s rights and find a story of children working for peace. On the reverse side of the digital books, you can discover rights defenders from other countries who have been recognized as Honorary Canadian citizens.

  7. LEVEL 4

    Actions Count

    This gallery gives you an exciting chance to use an interactive table. Play It’s Your Choice –– a multi-player, role-play game that asks you to make choices about scenarios using animated characters. Enjoy it. We hope it inspires you to take action in your school or neighbourhood.

  8. LEVEL 5

    Rights Today

    Find the Everyday Objects display. Explore how items we use every day are connected to human rights in both positive and negative ways. Do you use plastic bags at home? Do you think you could make a soccer ball out of plastic bags?

    You can also experience the stories of Canadian human rights defenders in this gallery. Touch screens help you learn about activists like Buffy Sainte-Marie, who spreads messages through music and education. You’ll also find out about Craig Kielburger, who started working for human rights at age 12.

  9. LEVEL 7

    Inspiring Change

    Find an Imagine Card and write or draw your own human rights message on it. Use the colourful pens and blank cards to think of how our world could be better in any way you wish. Then add your card to the display to imagine how our world could be better.

  10. LEVEL 7

    Israel Asper Tower of Hope

    Use the staircase or elevator and start your climb to the Tower of Hope. Once you’ve enjoyed the view from the platform, you can return to the main entrance using the elevators or the ramps.