The Canadian Museum of Civilization: the Grand Hall and the First Peoples Hall

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Of all the muse­ums I had the chance to visit in the National Cap­i­tal Region, the Cana­dian Museum of Civ­i­liza­tion is prob­a­bly my favourite.

Canada’s national museum of human his­tory is located in Hull, Que­bec, directly across the Ottawa River from Par­lia­ment Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. The loca­tion itself is very scenic: the Museum over­looks the River and offers great views on Ottawa’s down­town core and main land­marks, includ­ing the Locks, the Par­lia­ment, Château Lau­rier and Nepean Point.

The Museum focuses on Cana­dian his­tory, its peo­ple and the cul­tural diver­sity. The per­ma­nent gal­leries explore Canada’s 20,000 years of human his­tory, and a pro­gram of spe­cial exhi­bi­tions expands on Cana­dian themes and explore other cul­tures and civ­i­liza­tions, past and present.

Need­less to say, there is a lot to see and the Museum is huge.

This time, we started with the Children’s Museum, nested inside the Museum of Civ­i­liza­tion. Designed for chil­dren, it gives them the oppor­tu­nity to “travel the world” and explore var­i­ous cul­tures though props, cos­tumes, cul­tural arti­facts, etc. Kids are free to roam around and play with the many toys from all over the world—it’s really cool actually!

We then explored the Grand Hall, on the building’s first level. This is an archi­tec­tural mas­ter­piece that fea­tures a wall of win­dows fram­ing the Ottawa River and Par­lia­ment Hill.

The Grand Hall is said to be the largest indoor dis­play of totem poles in the world: a dozen tow­er­ing totem poles and recre­ations of six Pacific Coast Abo­rig­i­nal house facades are con­nected by a boardwalk.

We then moved on to the First Peo­ples Hall, a per­ma­nent exhi­bi­tion that nar­rates the his­tory and accom­plish­ments of Canada’s Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ples from their orig­i­nal habi­ta­tion of North Amer­ica to the present day. It explores the diver­sity of the First Peo­ples, their inter­ac­tions with the land, and their on-going con­tri­bu­tions to society.

As a new Cana­dian, I always find some­thing new to learn when I visit this museum… give it a try if you are in the area!

You can see all the pic­tures in the Ottawa — Spring set on Flickr.

Outside the Museum of Civilizations

Out­side the Museum of Civilizations

The Grand Hall

The Grand Hall

Children's Museum

Children’s Museum

Children's Museum

Children’s Museum

Children's Museum

Children’s Museum

Children's Museum

Children’s Museum

Children's Museum

Children’s Museum

Mark Exploring the Grand Hall

Mark Explor­ing the Grand Hall

Montreal Canadiens Hockey Player

Mon­tréal Cana­di­ens Hockey Player

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, Bill Reid's largest sculpture

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, Bill Reid’s largest sculpture

Central Coast Housefront

Cen­tral Coast Housefront

Central Coast Housefront

Cen­tral Coast Housefront

Nuxalk Housefront

Nux­alk Housefront

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

 Moccasins

Moc­casins

First Peoples Hall

First Peo­ples Hall

First Nations Art

First Nations Art

First Peoples Hall

First Peo­ples Hall

Lacrosse

Lacrosse

Hunting Buffalos

Hunt­ing Buffalo

Hudson's Bay Point Blanket

Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket

First Nations Art

Self-Portrait Outside the Museum

Self-Portrait Out­side the Museum

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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