FROM THE COLLECTION // Excavated Pieces of BC’s Indigenous History

AA 1801 – Russian Blue Trade bead necklace

FROM THE COLLECTION aims to introduce readers to the inventories of local art galleries, museums and other cultural institutions, not via official exhibition notes but by way of the people that help manage and maintain the collections themselves.

“As a child, I did not understand the significance of these beads, but I do now, and I wear them with pride and honour for my people.”

In this edition of From the Collection, Jasmine Wilson, Indigenous Programs and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Museum of Vancouver, explains how one particular collection connects her to her own personal history…

“I was drawn to these pieces because I have my own collection of Russian blue trading beads that I excavated myself. Seeing these beads in the collection fills me with excitement and always brings me back to my childhood on Vancouver Island, where my family and I would have our own archeological dig on the Kwakwaka’wakw territory. These beads could be found all over; I would even find a few walking along the beach. As a child, I did not understand the significance of these beads, but I do now, and I wear them with pride and honour for my people. Digging for these beads was something I loved and will always cherish.”

Take a look at more objects in the collection here.

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