UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Where do we keep our past? : working towards an indigenous museum and preserving nunavut's archaeological heritage Zawadski, Krista


In Nunavut at present there exist only a small number of visitor’s centres and only one museum, which has rather limited capacities. This means that very few residents of Nunavut have access to a comprehensive museum, especially one that holds Inuit cultural material—unless they travel outside of the territory. There is an opportunity, therefore, to look at how a well-developed Nunavut museum could affect Inuit social well-being by exposing people to their own cultural material as well as how this could affect other social realms such as education and cultural revitalization. Through research on existing cultural centres in Canada and the United States I demonstrate the importance of access to museums for cultural well-being, cultural preservation and revitalization. Employing qualitative research methods in the study of existing cultural centres in Canada I explore the question of what museum and heritage centre models work best for indigenous and isolated communities. This research shows that there is enormous potential for significant positive cultural impacts in Nunavut with the development of a museum to call our own.

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