Model of Haisla Heritage Artifact Collection Re-design

The Museum displays a collection of Haisla heritage artifacts in its Upstairs Gallery. The collection includes those artifacts held in trust for the Haisla Nation such as the bentwood box pieces. The exhibition is an opportunity for the Museum to foster a stronger relationship and bond with the Haisla Nation through consultation, collaboration, providing improvements to the safety of Haisla heritage artifacts, and cultural information for public education and understanding.

The Museum ordered new museum‐quality cases for the artifacts. Panels will feature information and images on Haisla culture, arts, technology, and history. Confirmed sources of funding include the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, BC Community Gaming, District of Kitimat, Kitimat Community Foundation, and Rio Tinto.

The Haisla First Nation collection area occupies one quarter of the small Upstairs Gallery. In the spring and summer of 2016 Museum staff had the pleasure to meet with a Haisla culture consultant on cultural information for the area. Artifact placement and case arrangement was proposed by Museum staff and a designer provided a potential design for the area. Some of it—such as the cedar plank and partition walls—is now in place.

In April, In Support of Difficult Art & Artifacts provided artifact mounts and plinths, re‐housing the Haisla heritage collection in the new cases, and setting up the eulachon processing equipment and food harvest and preparation areas. Cultural information panels with images are in the works given assistance from Haisla consultation through cultural consultants and the Haisla Elders Group.

An IPad on a stand will have Haisla documents and audio visual files in efforts to fit more cultural information in for public access.Ella Grant, 1982, stripping cedar bark.

Cultural information on panels could include:

  • Nuyem, traditional teachings and world view
  • Clans
  • Feasts
  • Haisla Territory and Wawais (family stewardship areas), Place Names
  • Neighbours and Amalgamation
  • Language
  • Food
  • Knowledge
  • Winter Village and Seasonal Camps
  • Repatriation
  • Arts—Traditional and Contemporary
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