Culture at the Centre is an unprecedented new exhibition that offers insight into the important work Indigenous-run cultural centres and museums in British Columbia are doing to honour and support their culture, history and language. Five centres are showcased, representing six communities: Musqueam Cultural Education Centre (Musqueam), Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre (Squamish, Lil’wat), Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre (Heiltsuk), Nisg̱a’a Museum (Nisg̱a’a) and Haida Gwaii Museum and Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay (Haida).
Covering a wide geographic expanse, from what is now Vancouver to the Nass River valley, this is the first time that these communities have come together to collaborate on an exhibition and showcase their diverse cultures in one space. For visitors, it is an amazing opportunity to learn about the heritage work these centres are doing and to see traditional and contemporary objects from the communities. The exhibit is organized under three main themes: land and language, continuity and communities, and repatriation and reconciliation.
Many British Columbians aren’t aware of the existence of First Nations cultural centres and museums or their impact on their communities. This exhibition opens a window into these five centres through dynamic displays of animated maps, Indigenous languages and rarely-seen items, like an ancient walrus skull and a 32-foot sturgeon harpoon. MOA hopes this is the first of many exhibitions of its kind.
Curators: Jill Baird and Pam Brown, with representatives from Musqueam Cultural Education Centre, Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre , Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, Nisg̱a’a Museum and Haida Gwaii Museum and Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay.