The Exploration Place, Prince George
Project: Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning
Funding Received: $75,000
Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning is a new permanent First Nations Gallery at The Exploration Place created in partnership with the Lheidli T’enneh Nation, which has named The Exploration Place as official repository for all artefactual material related to their culture and history.
Hodu’leh-a Pithouse entry
Within the museum, the History Hall exhibits were collections and displays of photographs and artifacts that depict life during the earliest pioneer days in Prince George. While they are valuable records of the impact that people had on the landscape, and how the landscape shaped the community socially, culturally, and environmentally, the exhibits failed to convey the impact that the settlers had on the Lheidli T’enneh. They did not reflect upon First Nation resiliency or the indigenous people’s determination in the face of oppression to keep First Nation culture alive.
A completed display case
Hodul’eh-a has filled the gap, shining a light on the sometimes-dark history of post-contact relationships between settlers and the First Nations of the area, and leading to a greater understanding. The new gallery space permits in depth teaching and learning and Lheidli T’enneh Elders have been guiding youth through the gallery to teach about their culture and history.
There has never been a time that First Nations history and culture has not been relevant but now more than ever it is being acknowledged. Collective efforts such as Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning are necessary in the advancement of our museums, the revitalization of relationships, and as important steps in reconciliation.