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December 8, 2023
A Q&A with the Manager of Indigenous Learning and Programs at ROM
In lieu of a baby, Leslie McCue cradled a plush toy shark.
This was in 2018, back when Leslie, a member of the Mississaugas of Curve Lake First Nation, was working as an Indigenous Museum Educator. She was in the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples Art & Culture, teaching a group of visitors how to use a tikinagan, which is the Anishinaabemowin term for cradleboard. And, because she didn’t have a baby for the demonstration, she carefully and lovingly wrapped the shark.
That’s when the screaming started.
It was a little baby, whose parents were mortified—apologizing profusely and promising to leave. But Leslie was unbothered.