Northwest B.C. museum updates mandate to include First Nation cultures

Heritage Park Museum has changed its mandate to reflect a more culturally inclusive tone and to broaden the time period for its collection.

The old mandate described the Heritage Park location as an interpretive site representing the “settlement era” in the region from 1890 to 1930 but that was no longer considered appropriate or accurate, says museum curator Anna Glass.

“Terrace represents a lot of cultures and not just a settlement era,” said Glass. The new mandate is meant to include First Nation cultures.

The time period for its collections now does not have a starting date but has an expanded upper date of 1950.

Glass said that reflects the museum already housing archaeological and geological artifacts preceding and extending beyond the previous timeline.

Moreover, “the history of Terrace doesn’t really have a beginning time,” she explained as reason why 1890 was removed as a start date.

The new mandate reads “To maintain, preserve, operate, and promote the premises, facilities, and archives of Heritage Park Museum as an interpretive site and museum representing the region up to the year 1950”.

Glass said the museum would like to stretch the upper time span closer to a more contemporary year but kept it at 1950 since a lot of items still need to be catalogued.

The museum board also approved to remove the words ‘downtown museum’ from the mandate.

While presenting the mandate changes to the City of Terrace on May 10, Glass said that the museum’s mandate is often presented when applying for grants and the board wanted to remove the wording around establishing a museum so that it would be understood that they are already a museum.

“Terrace needs a facility that properly archives items that cover the broad spectrum of cultures in our region. There were concerns expressed with regards to hindering the possibility of getting a proper building to display and store artifacts by expressing that they were already a museum,” she said in the meeting.

Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Terrace Standard