In recent decades many democracies around the world have tried to meet growing political demands to make amends for past wrongs by showing their troubling pasts. Museums, especially new national museums, have performed a crucial role in this historical work. In this article I examine the attempt of one of these, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, to stage an exhibit about a historic agreement between the indigenous Maori people and the British government that had come to be regarded as the nation’s founding constitutional document at the same time as it remained the subject of much controversy and enormous contestation.

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