Wearing our Identity. The First Peoples Collection
This permanent exhibition enables the public to explore the complex heritage of the First Peoples of Canada and learn more about how their dress has helped define their rich cultures and identities. Wearing our Identity – The First Peoples Collection will also help visitors learn about the importance of clothing in the development, preservation and communication of the social, cultural, political and spiritual identities of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
First Peoples’ identity is intrinsically linked to their dress. Beyond its main purpose of protection, it tells observers the age and status of the individual, gives immediate information about the nation he or she belongs to, pays homage to the person’s remarkable achievements, and highlights the intimate relationship that exists between people and nature.
Today’s dress makes an eloquent statement about the vitality and creativity of contemporary Aboriginal culture, which strikes a balance between ancestral and current knowledge and between traditions and innovation. Produced in close collaboration with an Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Wearing our Identity – The First Peoples Collection will also include works by contemporary Aboriginal artists, who explore the notion of identity. Selected twice each year by Aboriginal guest artist and curator, Nadia Myre, the works will be integrated into the exhibition.
Guislaine Lemay, Curator, Ethnology and Archeology, speaks about the exhibition. (In French)