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Staff Only: Behind Scenes Part 2

As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I believe the same can be said for exhibits and the design process from its initiation to the final grand opening.  Museum exhibits focus on two areas, the permanent and the temporary. We often have temporary exhibits planned months if not years in advance because it allows better scheduling and team management since exhibits require a lot of preparation and work. I think the best way to talk about it is to divide it into three main stages.

The Planning

Roots Nation (3)

Every exhibit starts with an idea and a goal. For the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, our goal is to share knowledge through visual stories that engage the public and connects us with one another. Recently, the curatorial staff reimagined our permanent exhibit, Roots of a Nation, to include ethnographic items from all over Canada. Previously, Roots of a Nation talked about plants and its uses to Indigenous peoples. We thought that Roots of a Nation can take on a wider meaning, it can mean beginnings, the beginnings of clothes, the beginnings of baskets, and of all essential daily life items and how it has grown and prospered into what the items we recognize today. To facilitate this idea we create text panels for the exhibit and every artifact in order to explore deeper meanings and create connections between the artifacts and people.

The Preparation Read more

Work Study Profile: Nicole

Nicole_Braden

I have been at the Museum for two months as the Archaeological Interpreter and I instruct groups of school children activities that are offered by the Museum. As well as providing demonstrations that better explain archaeology to children. I became involved with the Museum through volunteer work that began in 2013 which provided me with experience with the collection of artifacts and how the Museum operated. I am in my fourth year of the Honors Specialization Program of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario. The Archaeological position offered at the Museum allowed for me to transfer my knowledge acquired through my education to be applied to a practical workplace environment.

The atmosphere at the Museum is welcoming and the staff members are all wonderful. They make working at the Museum an absolute pleasure. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology allows for children as well as adults to learn about a group of people that not everyone knows existed and that the City of London was previously occupied hundreds of years ago by the Attawandaron people. Read more

Work study Profile: Samantha

Samantha_Keller

My name is Samantha Keller and this summer I am working as an Education Assistant at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. I just finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Specialization in Archaeological Anthropology and a Minor in History. I am very excited to be working at the Museum this summer with the excellent summer staff!

In June, my job mostly consisted of running programs for the visiting school groups who came to see the Museum. Once school was over at the end of July, I began working on developing a new program. The program I am working on is called “Context in Archaeology”. This program has to do with looking at the artifacts we find at a dig site as “clues” to understand what a room or area was used for. It also has to do with understanding how the different layers in the soil can give us some idea about how old an artifact or a site is. Read more

Journey Across Canada Camp

For this week’s summer camp theme, the campers will embark on a journey across Canada starting from the West Coast.

On Monday, we will learn all about Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, and explore this beautiful, mountainous area replete with sparkling lakes and volcanoes. Since northern BC is rich in Aboriginal culture and home to several ancient village sites, the kids will also be crafting their very own miniature totem poles. They will get a chance to practice the symbolism commonly used in Aboriginal culture and choose animal totems that they believe best represent them. There are various cool symbols such as horses for freedom, a sun for energy, and wolves for leadership. Another cool activity for this day will be examining ancient woodland art, and striving to replicate the styles and imagery with our own woodland paintings.

Canada
DSC_0190

Tuesday is when the campers will travel eastbound into the flat land of the Prairies. Consisting of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, this region is also known as Canada’s “bread basket” as the Prairies are a major source of wheat for Canadians. We will largely focus on the furry residents of the Prairies, such as the prairie dog, owl, fox, and bison. The kids will have the opportunity to learn more about the prairie food chain through a fun, interactive game, and even construct their own prairie dog as a craft. Read more

August Palisade Newsletter

In this August 2014 newsletter:

  • Camp fun at MOA
  • Story of Our Grandfathers – Exhibit ends August 25th
  • New feature exhibit coming this September
  • What’s new: Interactive exhibit, summer guided tours, new birthday party theme
  • Behind the Scenes: promotional videos, blog: MOA’s mission
  • Pow Wow: September 13 & 14, 2014
  • Wilfrid Jury Day recap

Join our Palisade E-Post Newsletter to get MOA news, events, and stories right to your inbox!

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Work Study Profile: Jonathan

Jonathan_English

Hello! My name is Jonathan English, and I work as one of the Education Assistant at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. My role over the summer at the museum is to facilitate tours in the gallery and the Attawandaron village; plan the senior camps; and revise and expand educational programming.

I was raised in Northern Ontario along the north shore of Lake Superior, and was exposed to many Aboriginal traditions and less common veins of early Canadian history. This kindled my passion for history, and has led me to pursue a degree in History at Western University. I enjoy writing, reading, and spending copious amounts of time exploring the history of the world through various mediums.

I am most excited to rethink and expand several preexisting activities to incorporate a greater variety of learning styles, and encourage a passion for history amongst students. One of my focuses this summer has been re-examining our Early Societies/Ancient Civilizations workshops. I also immensely enjoy providing tours of the Attawandaron village, and the surrounding rivers and forest. My favourite part of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology is the recreated village and the Iroquoian longhouse.

Featured Artifact: Seal Skin Artwork

Artifact Profile: Seal Skin Artwork

sealskin

Artist: Helen Kalvak Elihakvik

Provenance: Holomon Island (Ulukahaktok), NW Territories

Kalvak was born in 1901 on Victoria Island located in the Northwest portion of the Northwest Territories. In her youth she lived a migratory lifestyle with her family; Migrating between camps along the coast in the winter and camps in the interior in the summer. Her father was a well-respected angakug (Shaman) and much of his teachings informed her artworks in her later years. After moving to Holoman Island (Ulukahaktok) she moved into a Co-op which provided her the opportunity to draw. Between 1962 and 1978 she created over 1800 drawings and stencils. The theme in her artworks focus on the transformation between angakug and his/her own animal spirit helpers or guides through illustrations of how people used to dress and live. Read more

Canada’s First Peoples Camp

This week’s summer day camp theme is First Peoples of Canada! We will be learning about the various groups of First Nations who lived in Canada, such as the Iroquois people, the Mi’kmaq people, the Northwest Haida people, and the West Blackfoot people. We will also learn about the Attawandaron people; this group of First Nations were the very first people to live here around the museum.

Since we are an archaeology museum, we have displays of hundreds of artifacts used by these first people and hosting a Canada’s First Peoples Camp is a natural. The campers will get to participate in a scavenger hunt, and in the process, they will tour the entire museum! They will also get a chance to explore the longhouses located in the village outside of the museum. The longhouses are a replica of the long, narrow, single-room building that housed the First Nations. Some longhouses had 50 people living in them! Read more

Learn from home – Endangered Animals

Have fun with Endangered Animals week by learning from home! Endangered Animals week at MOA brings with it a host of fun and educational games and activities that can be carried over from camp and into the home.

food-web

Food webs: Cut out pictures of animals in a specific ecosystem and connect them using string to demonstrate predator/prey relationships. This can teach children important ecological concepts such as niches, and help them understand the one species’ extinction can have on the other populations in its environment. Furthermore, these types of activities can be extended to teach children about bio-accumulation of pollutants, one of the reasons why so many predators near the tops of their food chains find themselves at risk of becoming endangered or extinct. Read more