A trip to the north offers more than just wild outdoor adventures and culinary delights. The people and the land are intrinsically linked, and the region provides numerous opportunities to get a glimpse into the Indigenous cultures that call Manitoba’s north home.
One-of-a-kind gifts and works of art are within reach, thanks to the talented Indigenous artists who set up shop in northern Manitoba. Jasyn Lucas, member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, is a well known wildlife and landscape artist who recently moved into a permanent space in Thompson with his partner Nikki Brightnose. The Gift of Art (409-79 Selkirk Avenue in Thompson) serves as both an art gallery and a tattoo parlour for the creative pair, displaying works of art by Jasyn as well as pieces collected from travels abroad. The gallery is open to the public by appointment.
For a more traditional gallery, head southwest to the Northern Buffalo Art Gallery (103 Portage Road) in Cranberry-Portage. Home to the work of local Irvin Head, the gallery space is a hidden gem for soap stone and wood carvings and frequently features guest artists.
The Eskimo Museum in Churchill, Manitoba has long been revered by visitors, boasting one of the finest collections of Inuit artifacts. The artifacts and carvings housed in the museum are some of the world’s oldest, tracing the history of the Pre-Dorset, Dorset and Inuit peoples and dating back to 1700 B.C. As an added bonus, the museum gift shop is rich with northern books, Canadian Inuit art, and local carvings, prints, beaded mitts, moccasins, mukluks, parkas and stone cut prints.
The Sam Waller Museum in the Pas (306 Fischer Avenue) is undoubtedly one of the most unique museums in the province – with curiosities and collectibles displayed alongside the rich history of the north. The museum’s exhibits cover geological formations of the region, First Nations history, the fur trade and Métis history. Following a similar vein, the Heritage North Museum in Thompson (162 Princeton Drive) combines Indigenous traditions with mining history and nature exhibits to create a well-rounded museum on Manitoba’s north. The museum excels in Indigenous artifacts (including an authentic caribou hide tipi).
Did we miss any important Indigenous landmarks, celebrations or places of interest in northern Manitoba? Tell us in the comments!