The award is for Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning.
On June 21, 2017, the Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation entered into a historic partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement named the museum as the legal repository for Lheidli T’enneh materials, with the goal of repatriating collections held by other institutions and creating a central home for the nation’s cultural assets.
To mark this milestone in their longstanding partnership, the Exploration Place Museum and the Lheidli T’enneh opened a new permanent gallery called Hodul’eh-a — A Place of Learning. The museum and gallery is located within Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park — the site of the traditional hunting grounds and village for the Lheidli T’enneh Nation. The gallery is a learning place for community members, with open programming space to allow for knowledge transfer, research, cultural expression, and healing. Hodul’eh-a – A Place of Learning serves as a model for how Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities can work together to reclaim traditional spaces, protect cultural assets and promote a greater understanding and respect for Indigenous history and experiences.
The award will be presented in Rideau Hall on November 22 by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. This award recognizes innovative projects developed by organizations dedicated to culture, community life, and heritage, which encourage the dissemination of history by citizens in the community.
Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning is the result of a historic partnership between the Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation. The goal of this agreement, which makes the museum a legal repository of cultural materials from the Lheidli T’enneh community, is to gather all collections held by other institutions and create a central home for the nation’s cultural assets.
“This honour, shared with our friends from the Lheidli T’enneh Nation, is humbling,” said Tracy Calogheros, Chief Executive Officer for The Exploration Place, in a press release. “By creating Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning, we are re-establishing a space in the heart of the Lheidli traditional territory to both learn and teach this generation and tomorrow’s leaders. To have our country celebrate this decades-long friendship by bestowing this award upon us means more than I can succinctly express in English, so I will use a Dakelh word to express the depth of our gratitude: Snachailya.”
“Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning is an inspiring model that illustrates the way in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities can preserve and showcase their cultural assets to promote a better understanding of our history. It is a remarkable space that allows us to celebrate an Indigenous nation in all its richness,” said Janet Walker, President of Canada’s History.
In addition to the Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the Société d’histoire de Sherbrooke is also receiving a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming for its activity History Goes to the Market. Each award comes with a $2,500 prize.
Three additional projects are acknowledged as finalists and will attend the award ceremony in Ottawa: Orbit Films Inc. for Nikkei Stories (Vancouver, British Columbia), The Age Advantage Association for Mapannapolis! Annapolis Community Mapping Project (Annapolis County, Nova Scotia) and Université de Montréal for Parcours Montréal Citoyen (Montreal, Quebec).