Governor General of Canada to Open New Exhibit at Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Museum Alive! Open House

Yellowknife (Dec. 8, 2011) – Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will be at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre today to open the Hunters of the Alpine Ice exhibit.

The exhibit opening will occur as part of Their Excellencies’ official visit to the Northwest Territories from December 7-11. This is their first official visit to the NWT since His Excellency’s swearing-in as Canada’s 28th Governor General in October 2010 and will include Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation.“I am thrilled to have the Governor General of Canada experience some of our Northern lifestyle and culture,” said the Honourable Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. “To have Their Excellencies open this exhibit at our museum is tremendous, and provides the opportunity for us to share a piece of important cultural history with them.”

Archaeologists from the museum worked with Tulita elders to document high alpine ice patches that have been used by Shut’aot’ine, or Mountain Dene hunters, for thousands of years. While hunting caribou on the ice patches, hunters left behind parts of their hunting equipment, which were preserved in the ice for hundreds of years. This ice is now melting, exposing the fragile artifacts to the elements and putting them at risk of destruction. The work is critical, and the team must visit the sites each year to monitor them for new discoveries.

Hunters of the Alpine Ice opens at 3:00pm in the Museum Café. A public presentation on the NWT Ice Patch Study will be held at 7:00pm on December 8th in the museum auditorium.

For more information, please contact:

Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager, Public Affairs
Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-6222
Email: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca

Barb Cameron
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Phone: (867) 873-7551
Email: barb_cameron@gov.nt.ca