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Native Cultural Arts Museum

Welcome to the Museum

Enjoy the heritage of northern Alberta's Woodland Cree
and Métis peoples at the Native Cultural Arts Museum!

About Us 

The Native Cultural Arts Museum is a part of Northern Lakes College (NLC) and is located in the Moosehorn Lodge, at NLC’s Grouard Campus in northern Alberta. When the museum was established in 1976, it was affiliated with the Native Cultural Arts and Design Program that was formerly offered at the Grouard Alberta Vocational College, which later became Northern Lakes College.

The original purpose of the Northern Lakes College Native Cultural Arts Museum was twofold: to promote a better understanding and education of Aboriginal arts and designs, and to create a space to showcase the creative achievements of students from the Native Cultural Arts and Design Program. Over time, this initiative grew to become an integral part of the Northern Lakes College mandate.

Today, the Museum’s artifact collection celebrates various aspects of Aboriginal cultures, with a special focus on Métis peoples and the Woodland Cree of northern Alberta. The Museum’s historical and contemporary collections serve to educate the public by depicting Aboriginal lifestyles through exhibits of art, music, hunting, regalia, clothing, and more.

The Native Cultural Arts Museum is operated by the Council of Community Education Committees of Northern Lakes College, with additional support and funding from the Alberta Museums Association, and the Municipal District of Big Lakes.

Mission

The Native Cultural Arts Museum provides quality learning experiences to the public by respectfully portraying the history, culture and languages of northern Alberta.

Interpretive Tours

Interpretive tours of both the Museum and the St. Bernard’s Mission are offered year-round to all visitors. For groups of 10 or more individuals, please call the Museum to make a reservation and to ensure that we can accommodate your tour needs.

Educational Programming

Educational programming is an integral part of our Museum's Mission and operational objectives. At the Museum, we strive to create innovative programs for student groups of all ages that demonstrate a respect for cultural awareness and diversity. Our programming is developed to enhance Alberta Education’s Social Studies Curriculum.

Educational Programs Include:

Year-round

  • Interpretive tours with hands-on artifacts
  • Outreach programming - presentations on topics related to the Museum’s collection
  • Information booths or small educational exhibits

Spring and summer

  • Drop-in craft and art programming – July and August
  • Story time with hands-on artifacts – May to August
  • Historical Village field trips – May and June

Museum Operating Hours

AMA Recognized Museum

New Hours as of Fall 2012

January 
Closed

February through April
Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(Closed between 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM for lunch)
Please call ahead to confirm museum hours.  

May and June
Visitation by appointment only. Educational Field Trips are available by reservation.

July and August 
Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(Closed between 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM for lunch)

September through December
Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(Closed between 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM for lunch)
Please call ahead to confirm museum hours.  

Fees*

Drop-In Visitation: Entry by donation

Elders - Free

Guided Interpretive Tours:

Adults $5

Seniors/Students $2

Children/Youth $2

Family $12

Programs

Drop in craft and art programming $2 per participant

Educational field trips at the Historical Village $12 per student

*The Museum is a not-for-profit organization and fees are set at a cost recovery rate for public services provided.

Contact Us 

Address: 62 Mission Street, Grouard, Alberta
Ph: (780) 751-3306
Fax: (780) 751-3308
Email: 
museum@northernlakescollege.ca 

Educational Field Trips at the Historical Village

Each year, the Museum’s outdoor Historical Village is erected in May and June for educational field trips. At the Historical Village, students of all ages can experience life in the late 1800’s through hands-on learning and interpretive tours.  Our costumed interpreters guide students through various activities throughout the Historical Village, which is made up of four tipis and two canvas tents.

Students who have visited the Historical Village have had the opportunity to cook bannock over an open fire, play traditional hand games, become traders at the Hudson Bay Company, dress as pioneers, and erect a canvas tipi.

The Historical Village programming is only available in May and June by reservation.  Please contact us for further information or to book your group.

Please note the Historical Village is not wheelchair accessible.

Partners

St. Bernard's Mission

Together, the St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church and the adjacent cemetery are known as the St. Bernard’s Mission. The St. Bernard’s Mission has been officially designated as a Provincial Historic site in Alberta. This beautiful church was constructed by Bishop Emile Grouard and completed in 1902. The St. Bernard Church is one of the three churches that Bishop Grouard built in northern Alberta. Bishop Grouard was a reputable artist and in the churches he constructed, visitors will find displays of his art. In the St. Bernard Church, his paintings are adorned on the wall behind the altar on hide canvases. In the cemetery adjacent to the church, visitors will locate the tombstones of Roman Catholic Bishops of the St. Bernard Mission – including Bishop Grouard - and brothers and nuns who contributed to the establishment of religious importance in the region.

Today, the St. Bernard Church remains to be an important and operational church within the community of Grouard. As a friend of the Museum, the St. Bernard Church graciously allows the Museum to offer visitors interpretive tours of this site. We kindly remind all of our visitors that as the church remains operational, interpretive tours of the St. Bernard’s Mission cannot be reserved or guaranteed by the Museum.

Reference Library

The Museum’s Reference Library is open to the public during the Museum’s regular operating hours. Our Library’s archival holdings consist of photographs, rare print publications, historical newspapers, maps, and audiovisual materials.

Gift Shop

The Museum’s Gift Shop is open during the Museum’s regular operating hours. Our Gift Shop supports local artisans and art programs by offering a selection of locally, hand-made items.

Visitors will also find a selection of topical books available for purchase. From 2002 to 2003, the Museum undertook a project to collect accounts of local history by means of interviews with local elders that have connections to Grouard. Life stories have been collected from the following Elders: John and Marguerite Giroux of Grouard, Mrs. Clara Anderson of Grouard, Elsie (Dumont) Stenstrom of Slave Lake, Mabel and Russell Grey of Whitefish River, Dee Dee and Jim Thomas of Faust, Arthur Lamothe of Joussard, Joe Willier of Sucker Creek, Flora Campbell of High Prairie, Doris Nichols of Salt Prairie, and Cecile Sylvestre of Edmonton.

These accounts were published by Northern Lakes College in partnership with the Alberta Museums Association in 2006. The publication is titled, Interviews with the Elders Volume 1, (2006) and copies are available for purchase at the Museum Gift Shop. 
 
Please note the Gift Shop does not accept Interact, Visa, or MasterCard.