YELLOWKNIFE (November 25, 2009) – The stories of eight courageous Inuit are now part of a new exhibition, ‘We Were So Far Away..’: The Inuit Experience of Residential Schools, at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) in Yellowknife.“We Were So Far Away…” tells the Inuit experience through the words of former residential school students. Illustrated with historical pictures from Canadian residential schools as well as personal objects and photographs from students, the exhibition presents a poignant reminder of what life was like in the schools for so many Aboriginal people.
“Documenting the experiences of Aboriginal Peoples during this dark period in our history is extremely important. I hope this helps former residential school students across the North on their healing journeys,” said Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty.
The exhibition officially opens Thursday, November 26, 2009. The public is invited to join the exhibition partners at a special opening ceremony from 7pm to 9pm at the Heritage Cafe.
While the stories represent Inuit experiences, the goal of the exhibition is to help all Aboriginal people affected by residential schools. Another important goal is to educate the public about Canadian residential schools. The eight who shared their stories represent a diverse group from across Canada, including two Northwest Territories residents from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region: Lillian Elias of Inuvik and Abraham Ruben, formerly of Paulatuk.
“I hope that, through educational initiatives such as the ‘We Were So Far Away…’: The Inuit Experience of Residential Schools exhibition, all Canadians will become aware of their past and of the need to work together to renew the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples,” said president of the Legacy of Hope Foundation Richard Kistabish. “The Legacy of Hope Foundation remains committed to all Residential School Survivors, their healing journeys and the hope of reconciliation in the future.”
“We Were So Far Away…” was developed by the Legacy of Hope Foundation in partnership with Library and Archives Canada and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. The exhibition is on display at the PWNHC until January 31, 2010. It will then travel to the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre in Fort Smith during the month of February 2010.
A private viewing is planned for former residential school students on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 from 7pm to 9pm. Due to the sensitive nature of the exhibition, support services will be available at both events.
For more information about the exhibition, please contact:
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Education, Culture and Employment
Tel: (867) 873-7551
Yellowknife (November 10, 2009) — A life-like diorama of mother and calf beluga whales swimming in the Beaufort Sea is fast becoming a favourite attraction for visitors to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC).The exhibit is called Qilalukkat: Beluga Whales. It features a touch-screen display with video and audio presentations showing the link between the Inuvialuit people and the land.
Qilalukkat: Beluga Whales is one of many Voices of the Land exhibits planned for the North and South galleries. Voices of the Land displays include life-like dioramas of Northern landscapes, touch-screen presentations and artifact displays. To ensure cultural and scientific accuracy, new material for the museum is based on a story-centred approach developed in consultation with traditional knowledge experts, scientists and community members.
Upcoming dioramas include muskrat on the Mackenzie Delta, migrating water fowl in the Slave River Delta, taiga shield with rocks, lichen and various bird species, moose near the Mackenzie River, fish species and ice break up in Great Bear Lake, barren-land caribou, bull muskoxen on Banks Island and a polar bear on winter sea ice.
Dioramas are not the only recent additions to the museum. Over the last 25 years archaeologists made many exciting discoveries in the Northwest Territories (NWT), and over 250 Inuvialuit artifacts are now on display in a new exhibit, Kuukpak: Ingilraan, A Long Time Ago. The artifacts represent nearly three decades of archaeological research led by Dr. Charles Arnold, former director of the PWNHC.
To increase accessibility to exhibits and collections for NWT residents living outside Yellowknife, the PWNHC is digitizing its records and display information to create on-line databases and virtual exhibits. This includes the addition of thousands of digitized photographs and new displays accessible on the museum’s website athttps://www.pwnhc.ca
The collection and renewal of exhibits at the PWNHC supports the GNWT’s ongoing work to promote the NWT as a premier place to live and visit. It is part of the Government’s initiative to Maximize Opportunities for NWT residents though a diversified economy and investments in the tourism sector.
For more information, or to request photos of the exhibit, contact:
Manager, Public Affairs
Department of Education, Culture and Employment