A ceramic bottle in the shape of a polar bear. This limited edition bottle contained scotch whisky bottled by the Government of the Northwest Territories, possibly for a Commissioner’s Ball event in the early 1970s. The ball, hosted by the Commissioner of the NWT, was the formal dinner and party that kicked off the first Legislative Assembly meetings of the year.
A wooden paddle used by Bill Farley during the 1970 NWT Centennial commemorative ‘Alexander Mackenzie Canoe Race’. The race was down the Mackenzie River from Fort Providence to Inuvik, a distance of 1760 kilometers. Teams from ten NWT communities participated. Farley was a member of the Yellowknife team. After the race’s finish in Inuvik he got a list of all race participants and wrote their names on the blade.
A 1957 Land Rover vehicle, owned by land surveyor and mining engineer John Anderson-Thomson. Among his many accomplishments, Anderson-Thomson was responsible for surveying an all-weather road linking Hay River with Yellowknife. This Land Rover was the first private vehicle to drive up this road when it was still under construction in the spring of 1959. The stretch of road was a mere right-of-way clearing through the winter bush. John Anderson-Thomson and his wife Janet completed the trip from Fort Providence to Yellowknife in five days under strenous conditions and with considerable damage to the vehicle.
These bird eggs are a small sample of 517 eggs collected by Yellowknife geologist and naturalist William McDonald. Most of the eggs were collected between 1940 and 1955 in the Great Slave Lake area, a prime habitat for waterfowl, raptors, and other migrating birds. The pigment on an egg helps to camouflage from predators while in an open nest, and also protects from ultraviolet radiation. The collection is significant because it is well documented with excellent notes on when and where the eggs were found, and the great variety allows for comparison within a range or species. The age of the collection is of interest as well: the eggs were collected before pesticides were widely used, which caused shell thinness and fragility during incubation.