The federal budget released yesterday proposes to provide $4 million in 2022-23 to the Department of Canadian Heritage to help support the Muslims in Canada Archive (MiCA).
“This funding will allow the Archive to continue its work with national archival and Muslim community organizations to acquire, organize, preserve, and make accessible records of and about Muslim people and organizations in Canada,” states the budget document.
The Muslims in Canada Archive (MiCA), a collaborative initiative of the Institute of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto, provides an opportunity to reshape these narratives and provide Canada’s robust and diverse Muslim community a chance to tell their own stories in their own words.
“For too long, Muslim communities in Canada have had their representations, stories, and identities publicly shaped by predominantly non-Muslim media sources. These depictions are often burdened by narratives of terrorism, war, violence, Islamophobia, and extremism,” states the budget document.
The Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto, is welcoming the inclusion in the proposed federal budget of the Muslims in Canada Archives (MiCA) project.
“We thank the Government of Canada for its support, and the strong advocates for MiCA in the Government, such as MP Arif Virani (Parkdale -High Park). We look forward to working closely and robustly with Minister Pablo Rodriguez and his staff at the Ministry of Heritage,” stated MiCA.
MiCA is designed to acquire, steward and preserve the contributions that Canada’s diverse and wide-ranging Muslims make to the heritage of the country.
A community-engaged archive, it leverages the excellence of Canada’s university sector with both provincial and national archival institutions, and Muslim communities across the country to help tomorrow’s story tellers today.
In doing so, it fills an important gap in Canada’s archival landscape, and enhances the narratives that make for a more vibrant and powerful Canadian democracy.