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Working at a museum is not boring. How many people can say that they helped create an exhibit about their culture? In the first week of July, my first task was to learn how to accession artifacts, then to photograph all of the First Nations artifacts.   Later I was to link all the photos to the Access database; this would allow the photos to pop up with the record when someone is researching it. I felt like I was helping the people in the future using the database by providing them visual evidence.

I was to do extensive research next. I looked through books, the internet and some records by explorers like James Teit and George Dawson. You will be able to read my work in the new Montebello museum; while you’re there, the timeline that both Deborah and I made will be hard to miss.
Towards the end of July, my last assignment was to search through old articles through the Salmon Arm Observer. I was to find news that referenced First Nations from 1907-1952 and not surprisingly I found a lot of racist comments. I then organized what I found into categories: Alcoholism, Racism, Violence, and Just Events.
 With some spare time and using the tools I already possessed, I designed a virtual layout of the exhibit that we call, “Knowing the Land Beneath our Feet”. We thought about what design elements to use, such as the Kekuli; I thought that it was overused when trying to display my culture.  During the meeting with heritage consultant, Cuyler Page, on the design of the exhibit, he gave me ideas as well inspiration.
Visiting other museums in the Shuswap territory also gave me inspiration. Deborah and I would road trip to First Nation exhibits in places like Kamloops, Revelstoke, Enderby and Vernon. We talked to the curators of the exhibits and asked them a number of questions about what their objective are. Now that we have done all the hard work, it’s time to start talking to people in this living culture.

We had an interview with some elders from the Little Shuswap Indian Lake Band. They gladly participated, answering the questions we had for them and even providing further information we didn’t think to ask about. This interaction with people, who’ve lived through so many years as First Nations people, helped in creating the real experience we were looking to present in the exhibit. Nevertheless this experience, as well as the others, will help us eventually to make this exhibit the recognition of my peoples’ living culture.   I feel proud of my accomplishments this summer.