The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre was recognized last week with a Canadian Museums Association (CMA) Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Exhibition.
The exhibit We Took Care of Them: Special Constables in the NWT honours Indigenous northerners who worked as Special Constables with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Seamstresses, guides and interpreters are also recognized for their contributions to police work. By sharing the skills needed to live and work in the north, local people often made the difference between life and death to the RCMP.
The CMA recognized this work as “nationally significant” and exceeding the current standard of practice by going beyond a conventional approach, particularly in its connection to communities and under-represented history.
The project was a partnership between the Department of Education, Culture and Employment; the Department of Justice; and RCMP “G” Division. To develop the exhibit, researchers worked closely with families and Special Constables throughout the NWT to collect and record their histories and stories.
The award was received by Director Dr. Sarah Carr-Locke, Gwich’in Elder Mabel Brown and Corporal April Bell of the RCMP, all of whom played a role in creating the exhibit.
“This project represents collaboration between the Government of the Northwest Territories, the RCMP and the people of the NWT who contributed their stories. The Award of Outstanding Achievement recognizes both the cultural significance of the exhibit and the exceptional work of everyone involved in its creation.”
-Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment
"The collaboration between the people of the NWT, RCMP and Government of the Northwest Territories in bringing the history and importance that Indigenous people contributed in relation to policing in the North, honours the important roles Special Constables and their families played. The historical and cultural significance of the exhibit, honours the outstanding work done to bring this to fruition. Receiving the Award of Outstanding Achievement formally acknowledges this important work."
-Chief Superintendent Jamie Zettler, Commanding Officer, Northwest Territories RCMP
- The main exhibit can be viewed at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife; through six interactive travelling exhibits hosted by the RCMP; or online in any of the NWT’s 11 official languages.
- The Awards of Outstanding Achievement recognize exceptional museum projects and encourage excellence within the Canadian museum sector. The CMA awards committee assesses all submissions and winners are selected by majority vote.
Senior Communications Advisor
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 767-9352 x 71021