Plan your Visit
The McCord Museum
The Museum Team
Gvì!ás Opens at the McCord Museum
A Truly Memorable Evening!
Wednesday, April 9, 2003 — This evening at the McCord
Museum Montrealers had a rare opportunity to see and
experience a vibrant Northwest Coast First Nations culture.
April 9 marks the McCord's official opening of Káx!áya Gvì!ás
— "The ones who uphold the laws of our ancestors,"
a travelling exhibition of historic and contemporary
Heiltsuk art. Community leaders and the Urban Heiltsuk Dance
Group were present to honour the occasion with traditional
ceremony, song and dance, and were welcomed by their
contemporaries from the Mohawk territory at Kahnawake.
title, Káx!áya Gvì!ás (pronounced "kax-liyá
gwee-ee-lás") reflects the melding of art and culture in
Aboriginal life. Opening ceremonies at the McCord furthered
this sentiment by bringing together representatives of two
far-flung Native groups and the Montreal museum community for
a dynamic cultural exchange. The evening got underway when
Heiltsuk community leaders arrived in the Théâtre J. Armand
Bombardier, in movements symbolic of a paddled canoe. Mohawk
Faithkeepers Ka'nahsohon and Otsi'tsakhn:ra invited the
visitors ashore and conducted a Thanksgiving Address, after
which the Heiltsuk chiefs conducted a Chiefs' Dance. For their
part, McCord Chairman George MacLaren and Executive Director
Victoria Dickenson presented their honoured guests with
baskets filled with fresh fruit and gifts, following a West
Coast Native tradition.
are proud to be able to offer our visitors a chance to
experience a facet of First Nations art and history so little
known in this part of the country," said Dr. Dickenson.
"It's an even greater privilege to host such an
exhibition with the participation and blessing of the
Aboriginal community that created it."
collaborative effort on the part of the Heiltsuk Nation, the
Royal Ontario Museum and the Royal British Columbia Museum, Káx!áya
Gvì!ás is on display at the McCord from April 11 to October
(514) 398-7100, ext. 251
Káx!áya Gvì!ás was curated by Pam Brown, the Heiltsuk Nation and Martha Black, Associate Curator in association with the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, Waglisla, B.C., the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum. The Royal Ontario Museum is an agency of the Government of Ontario.