Spirit Lines: Northern Outreach Project

Recipient of the 2017 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

November 8, 2017
Canada's History speaks with David Swanson and Maureen Matthews about Spirit Lines: Manitoba Museum Northern Outreach Project.

Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg (Manitoba)

The Manitoba Museum’s Spirit Lines project represents the innovative merging of museum content and Indigenous expertise to create two educational kits for use in schools at Garden Hill and Norway House First Nations.

These customized kits provide access to a collection of tangible and intangible assets preserved by the museum and re-introduced to their communities of origin through an inclusive process of community involvement. The kits contain an array of materials, from audio recordings and artifact replicas created by local artisans to instructional activities for making items like snowshoes and birchbark baskets.

Five publications advance Cree language teaching, including a Cree dictionary and transcriptions of oral histories with side-by-side translation in English, Cree syllabics, and Cree orthographic writing.

A unique feature is the inclusion of ‘true’ programmed syllabic keyboards, with instructions for replication, enabling communication across networks in the Swampy Cree and Oji-Cree dialects.

Excellence in Museums

The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! is administered by the Canadian Museums Association.

With the support of Ecclesiastical Insurance

Canada’s History Society and the Canadian Museums Association are able to administer the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums.