First Peoples of Canada: Masterworks from the Canadian Museum of Civilization
First Peoples of Canada offers readers a rare opportunity to experience a celebrated exhibition that has toured the world, yet has never been shown in Canada. This beautifully designed, full-colour book presents a collection of 150 archaeological and ethnographic objects produced by Canada’s First Peoples – including some that are roughly 12,000 years old – that represent spectacular expressions of creativity and ingenuity.
Curators Jean-Luc Pilon and Nicholette Prince sought out pieces held by the Canadian Museum of Civilization that could be considered “masterworks” based on their aesthetic qualities, symbolic value, or the skills and raw materials used in manufacturing them. These unique and priceless artifacts embody the rich diversity of skills and materials used by Canadian Inuit, First Nations, and Métis in both ancient and modern times.
First Peoples of Canada is full of insights not only on the pieces themselves, but also on the cultures that produced them and the geography of this vast land. Readers will come away from this book with a renewed appreciation of the lifestyles and achievements of Canada’s original inhabitants.
This collection focuses on items made by people in four regions across Canada: the farmers of the Great Lakes, the hunters and warriors of the Great Plains, the wealthy Salmon People of costal British Columbia, and the people of Canada's harshest environments, the Arctic and Boreal Forest.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 176 pages
- Dimensions: 9.1in x 0.7in x 11.0in
Reviews‘This beautifully illustrated volume brings to English-speaking audiences some of the most important items from Canada’s national collection of Aboriginal culture and history.’
Anthropological Review Database, 29 April 2014
Brimming with images of the [exhibit’s] artifacts, First Peoples of Canada will delight anyone with an appreciation for Aboriginal history or a love of fine artistic craftsmanship.
Mark Collin Reid
‘This accessible and visually appealing volume will be of interest to a broad spectrum that reaches beyond First Nations members and academics in the fields of anthropology, history and museology to a much broader readership.’
Brooke Penaloza Patzak
Museum Anthropology Review vol 8:01:2014
“This work provides a stunning visual companion to First Nation, Inuit and Metis cultural history whose startling illustrations lay bare native creative genius and chart a journey through the latitudes and longitudes of Canada’s diverse and spectacular geographies. The artifacts pictured here provide a stunning visual essay that clearly reveals the imprint of their materiality – grain, tool marks, application of pigments, evidence of wear, scratched, corroded, or polished paternations, and the mixing and conjunctions of patterns, materials, and weaves – that infuse the objects into the land and its history.”
Anthony Shelton, Director, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
“The masterworks featured in this book, and the exhibition on which it is based, are a sumptuous feast for the eyes – quilled, tufted, beaded, carved, fringed, and painted in a wondrous array of colours and materials. But they are so much more than this, each being a cultural touchstone and material marker, offering a point of entry into a long overdue healing conversation with the First Peoples of Canada that acknowledges, and belatedly celebrates, their immense contributions to the way we theorize, understand, and articulate the Canadian experience, both past and present, at home and abroad.”
Allan J. Ryan, New Sun Chair in Aboriginal Art and Culture, Carleton University
Author InformationJean-Luc Pilon is Curator of Ontario Archaeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and an adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University.
Nicholette Prince is Curator of Plateau Ethnology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and is currently on leave from her doctoral programme in the Institute of Cultural Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture, degree in Cultural Mediations at Carleton University. She was the inaugural Executive Director of the Nisga’a Museum in British Columbia.
PrizesPROSE Award – Art Exhibitions awarded by Association of American Publishers - Commended in 2014
Subjects and Courses