Native Cultural Arts Museum
The Native Cultural Arts Museum is closed until further notice. Please check back for reopening details. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Exhibits at the Northern Lakes College Native Cultural Arts Museum Promote Understanding, Healing, and Reconciliation
“Forgiveness, apologies, actions, unity, change, and healing are all components of reconciliation,” explains Sam (Carl) Willier, an alumni of the Northern Lakes College Academic Upgrading program. “We chose Indigenous exhibits to dedicate healing towards the process of reconciliation in Canada.” Sam is one of five summer students creating new exhibits at the Native Cultural Arts Museum at Northern Lakes College.
Over the summer, the students were given an open-ended objective to create Indigenous exhibits using artefacts in the museum collection. They were free to choose the number of exhibits they would create, as well as the theme. After some discussion and a survey of the artefacts in the collection, they determined they would create five exhibits celebrating aspects of Indigenous culture, with a focus on the ingenuity, creativeness, and playfulness of the culture.
The Native Cultural Arts Museum provides blended learning experiences to the public, by respectfully portraying the history, arts, and languages of Indigenous cultures within the Northern Lakes College service region.
The Native Cultural Arts Museum is a part of Northern Lakes College and is located in the 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 Indigenous 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 owned and operated by Northern Lakes College with additional support and funding from the Alberta Museums Association, Young Canada Works, Canada Summer Jobs, and the Municipal District of Big Lakes.