Post by Ken Corbett on Apr 2, 2009 12:25:52 GMT -5
So it looks like the six-meter birchbark canoe they discovered in Ireland, and which was built here in NB many winters ago, may be repatriated to New Brunswick.
If so, where in NB should it go? The St. Mary's Maliseet community has an historical claim on it. It's their heritage here. But is it safe stored in their community? Could other folks come in and see it? Do they have a curator who could protect it from damage?
Should it go to the New Brunswick Museum, where it now sits on exhibit? This way, everybody can see it, and it will be reasonably safe from accidental damage. It could still "belong" to the Maliseet folks.
What a neat piece of history to bring back to NB! I have nothing against museum storage and exhibit, but wonder at the value of doing it this way. Often times, things get cycled in yearly, or even farther stretches of viewings. Were it to go directly to the reserve responsible for it's creation it might just help generate some pride in past accomplishments, and even rekindle a respect for traditions and the roots of the language. One would hope that such an artifact would be available for all to see...hence promoting a part of our heritage that most of us are lacking in! DB