The Haida Gwaii Museum is “on the verge of something great” said president Dean Nomura at last Sunday’s museum society annual general meeting.
New objects for the collection, new exhibits for the heritage centre, joint projects with museums in Port and Massett and a very active visual arts committee have meant a busy year for the museum, said museum director Nathalie McFarlane in her report to the society members. It’s “an exciting place to be and it’s satisfying to be part of this work,”she said.
Captain Gold, Irene Mills, Andy Wilson, Lisa Boyko and Cindy Boyko are all busy preparing exhibits for the Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre, said Ms McFarlane. The museum will be closed for six months during construction. The closure will be a big project because everything has to be moved to one wing and some large objects like totem poles stored. The museum will probably hire a large number of people for the move, she said.
Last year, the museum hired curator Nika Collison, who also gave a report at the meeting. Much of her work was about building relationships, she said. She spent time working with other museums to facilitate repatriation and to share expertise. On islands, Ms Collison said she spent time working with Old Massett, the elders of the SHIP program and visual artists. Ms Collison is also involved in exhibit design for the Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre.
The museum’s finances are in good shape, said treasurer Kathy Rigg in her financial report.
At the end of the meeting, Ms McFarlane reviewed the status of the museum’s lease. “We are exchanging a head lease with the Department of Indian Affairs for a sublease with the Skidegate Band Council. The museum will retain its status as a society and will work in partnership with Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre.”
The society members also elected the new board for next year. They are;
Dean Nomura, President
Natalie Fournier,1st VP
Pearle Pearson, 2nd VP
Marcia Morash, Secretary
Kathy Rigg, Treasurer
Art Lew and Jack Littrell, Masset
Brigid Cumming, Port Clements
Dutes Dutheil, Tlell
John Williams, Bill Stevens, Skidegate
Charlotte Tarver and Kiki van der Heiden, Queen Charlotte
Sandspit and Old Massett have two seats, presently vacant. Anyone from those communities interested can contact Mr. Nomura.