Dr. Maureen Matthews


  • Medals, Pipes and Treaties at the museum
  • Treaty No. 5 and the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site
  • Treaties and land claims in Anishinaabemowin
  • Treaties and the Fur Trade
  • The Peguis/Selkirk Treaty


Dr. Maureen Matthews is the Curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum, where her most recent exhibit, “We Are All Treaty People,” developed in collaboration with Treaty Relations Commission Council of Elders, won a national award for exhibit excellence.  This exhibit features eight pipes which signify First Nations leadership in Treaty-Making.  Dr. Matthews worked with Elder Charles Nelson at Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation to find a respectful way to exhibit the pipes and she brings the pipes home to Ginew school annually for ceremonial renewal. 

Before joining the museum, Dr. Matthews worked at CBC Radio, and over a period of more than 20 years won five Canadian Association of Journalism Awards for Investigative Journalism.  She built her current museum anthropology practice on journalistic projects which emphasized the importance of native languages and has used audio to bring out the wisdom and humour of Anishinaabe,  Anishinini and Ininiwak peoples.  Her theoretical work has a dual Anishinaabe and anthropological focus, bringing together strands of Anishinaabe philosophical and metaphorical thinking with contemporary anthropological work on the nature of personhood and the animacy and agency of artefacts. 

Her recent book, Naamiwan’s Drum: the Story of a Contested Repatriation of Anishinaabe Artefacts, won the 2017 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction at the Manitoba Book Awards.  Dr. Matthews conducts an Indigenous graduate student seminar each year, focussing on the work of two or three Indigenous Scholars in Residence who are using collections to answer academic questions.