Inuvialuit exhibition opens at Ottawa museum
SIKU CIRCUMPOLAR NEWS SERVICE
An exhibition called Across Time and Tundra: The Inuvialuit of the Canadian Arctic opened two weeks ago at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. It’s the largest ever presented on the history and culture of Inuvialuit and chronicles their successes and challenges, while focusing on questions of identity and cultural survival. It will be at the CMC until Jan. 9, 2005.
The exhibition was mounted in consultation with Inuvialuit elders and community members. It includes nearly 200 artifacts and 150 archival photographs drawn from the collections of the CMC, the Smithsonian Institution’s MacFarlane Collection, and the McCord Museum’s Sutherland Collection.
At one time, the Inuvialuit were the largest Inuit group in Canada, but by 1910, ravaged by diseases introduced by contact with Europeans, their population had been reduced by 90 per cent. The story of the Inuvialuit’s survival and resurgence is told through a selection of artifacts and historical photographs, many on public display for the first time.
Inside the reconstruction of a traditional Inuvialuit sod house, visitors can take a virtual tour of its residents’ domestic activities. In an interactive studio, visitors can put on traditional costumes and see themselves on video dancing alongside Inuvialuit drum dancers.
The CMC recently launched a virtual exhibition on the interaction between the Inuvialuit and the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-18, the first major Canadian scientific expedition to the Far North. The site can be found at www.civilization.ca/hist/cae/splashe.html.