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Fort St. John museum news

Spring is always a whirlwind of class visits for tours, scavenger hunts, and programs. It’s been wonderful to share our regional and natural history with students once again.
FSJMuseumArchives-JeanHoldstock-Doig
Nigel Hannaford took this photograph of Jean Holdstock working with members of the Doig for the Alaska Highway News on February 26, 1977. Marshall and Jean Holdstock, Wycliffe Bible Translators, began developing a systematic orthography for Dane-zaa Záágéʔ (also known as the Beaver or Dane-zaa language) in 1962 with the help of fluent speakers such as Billy Attachie and Sam Acko. Marshall and Jean worked to translate the Bible beginning with the book of John. With funding from Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Jean and Marshall worked with Doig River to produce a dictionary and other introductory language books between 1976 and 1994.

Spring is always a whirlwind of class visits for tours, scavenger hunts, and programs. It’s been wonderful to share our regional and natural history with students once again. One of the best parts of the job is seeing people interact with our history in different ways and I’ve really missed that the past couple of years during the pandemic. It’s exciting to see youth learning more about our wildlife, people, and fur trade roots.

Exhibits

• Our Living Languages Travelling Exhibition

June 4, 2022 to September 5, 2022, at the museum

How many of us in BC can say “hello” in the language of the people on whose traditional territory we live, work and play? You might find yourself expanding your vocabulary – and appreciation for the state of Indigenous languages spoken in BC – after visiting the Fort St. John North Peace Museum to view the Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC travelling exhibition.

Learn what First Nations communities throughout the province are doing to help 34 different languages survive and flourish, in Our Living Languages, a beautifully designed exhibition from the Royal BC Museum and First Peoples’ Cultural Council that celebrates the resilience and diversity of Indigenous languages in the face of change.

Languages, especially the languages we grow up with, are powerful and potent markers of identity and culture. BC, one of the planet’s most linguistically diverse regions, is known as a linguistic “hotspot” because of the diversity and vitality of the First Nations languages in BC.

Through interactive stations, video and audio, Our Living Languages provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the history of disrupted languages in BC, the complexity of these languages, and the people – and entire communities – that are working tirelessly to document and revitalize them.

 • Scrubs, Shears and Scalpels: Surgery in the North Peace

Free Exhibit at the Fort St. John Hospital

From an American Air Force Surgeon in 1945 to Dr. Jack Temple and from anaesthesia masks to sterilizers, this exhibit looks at the challenges, changes in technology, and even the humour involved in surgery in Fort St. John from the 1940s to the 1970s. This exhibit is presented in partnership with the Fort St. John Hospital Arts Committee. The display case is in the hospital lobby between reception and Cool Beans Cafe.

Events

• Woodlawn Cemetery Tour

Wednesday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the Woodlawn Cemetery

Join us for the debut of our Woodlawn Cemetery Tour. From dentists to nurses and farmers to surveyors, these people changed the face of Fort St. John. Learn about the man who walked over 800 miles to Fort St. John from Telegraph Creek. Hear about a woman who could skin a beaver faster than any male trapper. Find out more about the Chinese couple that welcomed RCMP constables. Working through hardships, these people made our community home. The tour is $10 and can be paid at the gate of the cemetery prior to the tour. This is not a scary tour! We share stories (humorous, informative, and sometimes sad) about these people and the history of the highway while standing by their graves. 

• Museum Yard Sale

Saturday, June 18 at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the museum yard

Find some treasures at the annual museum yard sale. We are accepting donations for the sale so this is a great time to clean out your house! We will not be accepting clothing, car seats, large appliances, or large electronics. Fill a bag or small box for $5 sale from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Proceeds from this yard sale cover museum operations, exhibits, preservation of artefacts and historic buildings, educational programs, and special events. For more information please contact the museum at (250) 787-0430 or fsjnpmuseum@fsjmail.com.

• Spinning & Weaving Demonstration

Saturday, June 25 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join the North Peace Spinners and Weavers in the museum yard to learn more about the steps and techniques involved in weaving and spinning.

• Canada Day

Friday, July 1 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In partnership with the City of Fort St. John, we are pleased to offer free admission this Canada Day. Connect with local history by taking a self-guided tour of the museum including our historic buildings and the Our Living Languages travelling exhibition. Try our outside (question or photograph) based scavenger hunts around our historic buildings and equipment. Completed scavenger hunts can win a prize!

Educational Programs

We still have some room for guided tours at the museum in June and lots of room for summer camps in July and August. Schools and camps get a discounted rate for kids. Our programs can also travel to your summer camp or daycare. Learn more about our tours and scavenger hunts by calling

 https://www.fsjmuseum.com/category/programs-activities/ or call Heather at 250-787-0430 for more information.

Collections & Archives

We’ve responded to 69 inquiries so far this year both in person and via our Facebook page, website, phone, and email! We do up to 30 minutes of research for free for everyone.

Our summer student, Luke Weber, is hard at work cataloguing Alaska Highway photographs. We have over 300 to get through this summer as well as lots of other photographs.

Gift Shop

We have some great new books in our gift shop including Arthur Hadland’s Our Hadland Heritage which traces the family’s roots from England to the Peace Region and the nearly 100 years the family has been in the Baldonnel area. We also have numerous history books about the Alaska Highway in time to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the highway’s construction. Proceeds from the gift shop help us preserve and present the history of Fort St. John and area.


Heather Sjoblom is manager and curator of the Fort St. John North Peace Museum.