Museum earns award for new Indigenous space

Artist Kevin Pee-Ace explains one of his murals during an unveiling at the Prince Albert Historical Museun on April 26, 2019. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

The Prince Albert Historical Museum has won an award for its efforts to create a new Indigenous space.

Last week, the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS), awarded the Prince Albert Historical Society with the award of merit for projects with a budget of less than $50,000 for the creation of a new Indigenous space in the museum.

The award was accepted by manager/curator Michelle Taylor on behalf of the historical society in Saskatoon Friday.

The award is for the new Indigenous space, which the museum is opening in the Connaught room. Pictures and artifacts were selected and documented through consultations with First Nations and Métis knowledge keepers. Exhibits will be labelled both in English and the language of the groups represented, Swampy Cree, Woodland Cree, Plains Cree, Dene and Dakota.

Indigenous art by Leah Dorion and Kevin Pee-ace in the form of large murals painted with help from the community, adorn the top of the new space.

The project was supported by grant funding from the city, the Northern Lights Community Development Corporation and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

At the public unveiling of the murals, Taylor told the Herald that new exhibition panels will be installed below the portions of the mural that correlate to each respective Indigenous groups.

Some of the artifacts in the museum’s collection have been reflected in the paintings.

Work is continuing on creating the new exhibits to fill the space. The work to re-curate that section of the museum is set for a Fall 2020 completion date.

“Everyone is very happy to see that we are finally acknowledging our Indigenous community in the museum. For far too long we were a European settlement museum, with a large Indigenous collection (that was) not well explained,” Taylor told the Herald in April.

“Now, with this room, we hope to explain and make everyone aware of the impact First Nations and Métis had on the development of Prince Albert.