A museum in northwestern Ontario receives national recognition
The Atikokan Centennial Museum received the Excellence in Community Engagement award
Its not very often that a small town in northwestern Ontario receives the national recognition they deserve. But for the Atikokan Centennial Museum, that recognition came to them earlier this month from the Ontario Museum Association.
"It's called the Excellence in Community Engagement," curator Lori Fenton said.
"It's recognizing the work that's done in the field."
"It's based on the experience of Jaret Veran," Fention explained, "he was chosen to represent his community at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver."
Fenton said Veran, whose from Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, along with "300 youths from across Canada who are Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous," were invited to dance in their regalia at the opening ceremony by the First Nations of the west coast.
Made entirely out of deer skin, Fenton said the regalia is more than just a representation of the community as it also showcases the people living in Atikokan as well as Veran's family.
She said the initiative to put the regalia on display at the museum was originally Veran's idea, as "he didn't think it was right to stick it in the back of his closet and never wear it again."
Today the regalia is now hanging proudly in a unique display, made by Veran's brother, at the Atikokan Centennial Museum.
"It really is a beautiful show case. We couldn't have done better if we had made it ourselves," Fenton said.
"For instance, there's a mirror at the back which helps you see and appreciate the artwork at the back of the regalia."
Fenton said having the regalia displayed at the museum is "a representative of part of [Atikokan's] population" and the prestigious award helps others to not only know of it, but to learn about it as well.
The awards were presented in Kingston, Ont. on Oct 12.