posted by: Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza Hotel on: September 24, 2018
first peoples gallery royal bc museum
Image: Blake Handley
Over the decades, thousands of Royal BC Museum visitors have peered with delight at the detailed model of K’uuna Llnagaay, also known as the village of Skedans, Haida Gwaii—one of the most mesmerizing centrepieces at the museum’s First Peoples Gallery.

Now, thanks to detailed input from Guujaaw, a Haida artist, leader and hereditary Chief Gidansda, the museum has added fresh new audiovisual and textual material alongside the model village, providing an authoritative perspective and deeper cultural context.

“Generations of visitors have learned about and reflected upon indigenous cultures in the First Peoples Gallery,” explained Professor Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum. “But recognizing that many of the displays are decades old, we welcome the opportunity to convey, with fresh perspectives and mediums, the deep history of places like Skedans, places that have enormous cultural significance for indigenous people today.”

The additions are part of an incremental series of updates to the First Peoples Gallery. Earlier this spring, the museum added a new display on the gallery’s mezzanine featuring Tsamiianbaan (Willy White), Tsimshian weaver and teacher. The display includes video footage of White weaving a Raven’s Tail dance apron, as well as dance aprons from the museum’s First Nations collections and new, vibrant explanatory text panels.

Recent additions like the Weaving and Skedans displays will impress upon visitors an important perspective: that First Nations traditions inform present-day cultural practices and are integral to the vitality of community life. Other upgrades, such as the new lighting on casts of petroglyphs on the upper walls of the First Peoples Gallery, enhance visitors’ experiences in these iconic spaces.

If you’d like see the recent improvements at the First Peoples Gallery, plan a break at the Best Western PLUS Carlton Plaza. It’s extremely convenient if you want to visit the museum, because it’s located just a short walk down Government Street from Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour.
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