Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Celebrates One Millionth Visitor

Museum Alive! Open House

Yellowknife (May 24, 2012) – Ten days after its 33rd anniversary, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) celebrated its one millionth visitor, who entered the building during a public program organized by Ecology North on the morning of April 26, 2012.

The millionth visitor was Starr McLachlan, who visited the PWNHC with her year-old daughter, Ula, newborn son, Stig, and mother-in-law, Ann McLachlan. They were participating in the Eco Mamas and Papas event, one of the family-oriented Earth Week activities hosted at the museum by Ecology North. The PWNHC provides space for community participation in a wide range of events and activities related to the arts, culture and heritage of the NWT.“I am thrilled to learn the one millionth visitor was the mother of a young family interested in learning more about the natural and cultural heritage of the north,” says Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. “It is especially significant that this happened during an event hosted by one of our community partners who share the value of public education with the outreach programming objectives of the Northern Heritage Centre.”

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre opened on April 16, 1979, with just over 14,000 visitors during the first year of operation. Over the past decade, the museum has earned a reputation as one of the top tourism destinations in the Northwest Territories. Annual visitation has increased to approximately 35,000 yearly visitors from all NWT communities and over 25 countries. Visitor statistics are compiled daily by security staff.

Starr is a true northerner who was born in Inuvik and grew up in Tsiigehtchic, Kugluktuk, Fort Smith, Pine Point and Yellowknife. She currently lives in Yellowknife with her family, and visiting the museum has been a family affair for as long as she can remember. As a young girl she remembers being a regular at the PWNHC’s Amazing Family Sundays events along with her sisters Ella and Cleo and her mom, Karin.

To celebrate and recognize Starr as the PWNHC’s one millionth visitor, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment will honour her at a later date with a museum plaque and a culturally appropriate gift, a Dene baby belt, handcrafted in the NWT with moosehide, canvas, beads and stroud. The gift symbolizes the importance of family and the strong bond between parents and babies.

For more information, please contact:

Ashley Green
Public Affairs Officer
Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-3059
Email: ashley_green@gov.nt.ca