About the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Statement of Purpose
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) is the Government of the Northwest Territories’ museum and archives. The PWNHC acquires and manages objects and archival materials that represent the cultures and history of the Northwest Territories (NWT), plays a primary role in documenting and providing information about the cultures and history of the NWT, and provides professional museum, archives and cultural resource management services to partner organizations.
The concept for the PWNHC was originally established in 1971, as a result of concern over the loss of northern artifacts and collections, and the need to provide museum services and support throughout the Northwest Territories. In 1972, a program calling for the development of museum services in the NWT received official approval from the Government of the Northwest Territories. On April 16, 1979, HRH, the Prince of Wales, officiated at the opening of the facility that bears his title.
More Than A Museum
The PWNHC holds in trust for the public a large collection of objects that represent the peoples and cultures of the NWT, and produces exhibitions that tell stories about the land, people and history of the NWT. However, the PWNHC is "more than a museum". In addition to its exhibits, collections and conservation programs, the PWNHC houses the NWT Archives, provides technical, logistic and financial support to individuals and organizations involved in cultural activities and the arts, and authorizes archaeological studies in the NWT.
The mandate for the PWNHC’s activities derives from the Northwest Territories Archives Act, the Northwest Territories Historical Resources Act, and the Northwest Territories Archaeological Sites Regulations.