The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre has been recognized with a Canadian Museums Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Exhibition for the exhibit ‘We Took Care of Them: Special Constables in the NWT.’ The Awards of Outstanding Achievement recognize exceptional museum projects and encourage excellence within the Canadian museum sector.
The exhibit honours Indigenous northerners who worked as Special Constables with the RCMP. Seamstresses, guides and interpreters were also recognized for their contributions to police work.
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.
Chief Superintendent Jamie Zettler, Commanding Officer with the NT RCMP noted that receiving the award formally acknowledges the historical and cultural significance of the exhibit and honours the outstanding work done to bring this to fruition.
“The collaboration between the people of the NWT, RCMP and GNWT 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 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.
Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Caroline Cochrane stated that the award recognizes both the cultural significance of the exhibit and the exceptional work of everyone involved in its creation.
“This project represents the collaboration between the Government of the Northwest Territories, the RCMP and the people of the NWT who contributed their stories. ”
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 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.