Good afternoon colleagues!


As neighbors to the CMHR, we just wanted to send some thoughts on this and echo some of what has been said in the email thread about how great it is to see change happening at CMHR, particularly under the leadership of Isha Khan.


We would also support an observer status, rather than a member. There may need to be some conversation with our Network about what this would mean if other museums/institutions (operating at arm’s length) also expressed interest in joining and how decisions would be made as to membership. We do have some concerns with the question of academic freedom for researchers and curators at the CMHR. I previously worked as a Researcher and Curator at the CMHR and at that time, their policy on academic freedom was (and still to my knowledge) is non-existent, but it seems like for the purposes of this network, an observer status does ameliorate this.


Take care and wishing you all well this week with the start of the term!




Pauline Tennent, PhD  (she/her)

Manager, Centre for Human Rights Research 


From: Nandini Ramanujam, Prof. <>
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2023 7:40 PM
To: Frederick John Packer <>
Subject: [HR-rsch] Re: Request from CMHR to join CAHRI


Hello Frederick,


Good to hear from you.  Thanks for your message about the request from CMHR.  I met with Matthew Cutler and other Museum folks in Winnipeg in Spring and soon after met Jeremy Maron in Montreal.  I understood that CMHR is undergoing a process self-reflection and strategic planning.  They are engaging in countrywide consultations with different stakeholders; one was held in Montreal.  This is to say that they are clearly looking to engage with academic institutions and CAHRI could be great partner for them.  I think CMHR could have an observer status but I do not see them as a member.  They could be invited to attend meetings and could consult with individual member institutions on need basis.








From: Frederick Packer <>
Date: Monday, August 21, 2023 at 6:12 PM
To: "" <>
Subject: [HR-rsch] Request from CMHR to join CAHRI


Dear colleagues,


I trust this finds you well and enjoying the summer period (hopefully far from wildfires, tornadoes, floods and other increasingly common hazards of our new climate crisis).


I am addressing you having received a request from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (notably their Research Section and Library) to join CAHRI.  I had the pleasure recently to discuss with them their motivations as well as the particular character of their institution as part of the federal Government (with, of course, some arms-length control).  They would like to benefit from and contribute to our research and academic community and find ways to cooperate/collaborate to mutual benefit.  We believe there exist opportunities in this regard.  However, to preserve the full academic freedom of CAHRI members and our association, it has been agreed that the CMHR would join with some limitations to be set out in terms of an “Observer” or “Affiliate” membership (without voting privileges).


I am addressing you now to solicit your views on this idea.  Would you favour it or, if not, what are your concerns?


I would be grateful to receive your reactions and any comments in the next couple weeks (before 8 September).


Thanks in advance for your attention and response.


Best wishes,



Prof. John Packer

Professeur Neuberger-Jesin sur la résolution de conflits internationaux

Neuberger-Jesin Professor of International Conflict Resolution

Faculté de droit | Faculty of Law

Directeur | Centre de recherche et d’enseignement sur les droits de la personne (CREDP)

Director | Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC)

Université d'Ottawa | University of Ottawa


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