The Sign Languages of Canada: Past, Present and Future

2020, Canadian Language Museum
American, Canada, history, Indigenous, Inuit, Maritime, Oneida, Plains, Quebec, sign language
About This Project

Date: TBD

Partner: Canadian Language Museum

Location: Canadian Language Museum – Glendon College, York University

Project Members: Nadine Finlay, Caroline Kaszar, Savannah Sewell, Sydney Stype


The Canadian Language Museum introduces “The Sign Languages of Canada: Past, Present and Future.” The exhibition focuses on six sign languages in Canada, their histories, communities, and use today. The exhibit will include: American Sign Language, Langue des signes québécoise, Oneida Sign Language, Plains Indigenous Sign Language, Inuit Sign Language, and Maritime Sign Language. Language is so much more than you’ve heard.



The Curatorial Team worked with the Canadian Language Museum’s Director, Dr. Elaine Gold, who in addition to her work at the Museum, is a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Toronto. Her passion for language and sharing its history and significance with others, renders her an exemplary mentor for this project. Dr. Gold’s working relationship with the MMSt program spans nearly a decade. The Curatorial Team had weekly meetings with Dr. Gold to discuss ideas, plans, and to guide their deliberation. The Team is incredibly grateful to Dr. Gold for her advice, guidance, and expertise in creating “The Sign Languages of Canada; Past, Present and Future.”


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the completion of the exhibition and the opening are on hold. The exhibition will travel across Canada to various libraries, conferences, and other educational institutions and enter into the rotating collection at the Canadian Language Museum.