Royal BC Museum loans First Nations exhibit to Naval and Military Museum

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This stone net sinker, found in the waters off Macaulay Point, is a rare artifact.

Rachel Lallouz , Staff Writer ~ 

On display now at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum is a new exhibit loaned from the Royal B.C. Museum featuring early First Nations settlement and cultural features stretching along Fleming Beach and Macaulay Point.

The exhibit brings to life Lekwungen land use through panels, archival photographs and paintings.

Especially rare in the exhibit is an original stone net sinker found under water on the reef off the southern end of Macaulay Point. The sinker was used to hold a fishing net down between two canoes.

“This area has evidence of a fascinating human history going back over 4,000 years,” says Royal B.C. Museum Curator of Archaeology Grant Keddie.

Keddie says the area is especially unique because it is an accessible archaeological site that people can visit and learn from.

Macaulay Point was known as Mukwuks by the Lekwungen First Nation on whose traditional territory it is located. Today the Lekwungen are represented by the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

“I think it’s really important to let people in the local communities know what surrounds them historically,” Keddie says. “When people are aware of their own histories they are much more likely to preserve it and be interested in it.”

Echoing his words, CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum Exhibit Designer Clare Sharpe says, “We are pleased to receive the loan of this interpretive display, which is very relevant to new permanent content our own museum has developed in connection with the First Nations presence in this region,” she says.

The exhibit will be on display until April 18, 2016.

– With files from Clare Sharpe, Museum Exhibit Designer and Webmaster, CFB Naval and Military Museum

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