N.W.T.'s Prince of Wales museum celebrates 40th anniversary

On April 3, 1979, more than a thousand people attended the opening of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage museum in Yellowknife. Among them were the N.W.T.'s commissioner, Stuart Hodgson, and Prince Charles, the museum's namesake.

Though Charles isn't expected to make it back in time, some of the other people there that day will be on hand to celebrate the museum's 40th birthday this weekend.

Sarah Carr-Locke is the current director of the museum. She says there's a lot to celebrate about what the museum has achieved over the past forty years.  

"Almost every project we do involves community-based research so I'm really proud of that," she says. "I think that reflects the ethos of the North and makes us different than a lot of southern museums, who are now trying to catch up."

She credits former commissioner Hodgson for bringing the museum to life. He was tired of seeing northern treasures shipped to southern museums, she said.

 

"He was worried people in the North wouldn't have access to that art and wouldn't have a place to come and be proud of that art and heritage."

Robin Weber, who now works at the museum as an archival technician, was also there 40 years ago and had a very special job — welcoming the royal visitors.

Submitted by Sarah Carr-Locke

"I remember it was a big deal, I was a girl guide and it was a big honour to hold the door for Prince Charles," she said.

The celebrations start up Saturday at noon, with stew, bannock, and live music

There will also be hand games, and experts on hand to talk about ancient animals, archeology, and the preservation of artifacts.