The New Westminster Museum and Archives may be closed but it’s still providing programs for families to explore.
Mobile Museum and First Peoples of the Northwest Coast are two programs now available for free download at www.tinyurl.com/NWMuseumOnline.
“The museum remains dedicated to New West residents during the pandemic,” said Rebeca Salas, the city’s heritage program coordinator. “First Peoples of the Northwest Coast and Mobile Museum are free resources for families to discover people, places, and stories from their own community.”
Mobile Museum, which includes visuals and activities that are inspired by local heritage, aims to guide families with children in kindergarten to Grade 5 through some of the museum's teaching collection.
Participants will examine community artifacts and archival photos to better connect with the people and events of the place they live. This includes asking important questions to compare their own experiences and experimenting through crafting, videos and games.
As part of Mobile Museum, families can also learn how to curate their own personal "heritage collection" to reflect who they are and where they come from.
First Peoples of the Northwest Coast includes online resources made available by local Indigenous people and supplements them with artifacts and information from the museum's collections. Families can engage with local language and knowledge of the area, try traditional foods, create and visit Coast Salish art and design, and listen to stories that help people think about changes brought on by colonization.
First Peoples of the Northwest Coast is intended to complement the school curriculum from grades four to eight.
"The museum hopes the program will expose people to active leaders in the community, and that family-learning continues by looking to Indigenous educators, artists, organizations and perspectives," Salas said.
According to the New Westminster Museum and Archives, both programs can be broken up into short, successive activities, or completed in a full morning or afternoon. Each program is designed for convenient home-learning and fun, with any craft, snack or game supplies being easily found in New West.
The New Westminster Museum and Archives are located in Anvil Centre. Although the museum is closed because of the pandemic, a variety of virtual offerings are being posted at nwmuseumarchives.ca or on Facebook (NWMuseumandArchives), Instagram (@newwestmuseum) and YouTube (newwestminstermuseum.)