For this discussion, I chose to compare and contrast the two museums of the Alaskan local Anchorage Museum and the Museum of Northern British Columbia in Canada. Both museums showcase exhibitions on indigenous cultures of the circumpolar north. In this comparison between the two museums, I will be focusing on the elements of each museum’s mission statement and the exhibit programs offered.

The Anchorage Museum is a non-profit organization with the mission to “be a museum for people, place, planet, and potential, in service of a sustainable and equitable North, with creativity and imagination for what is possible” (Anchorage Museum). Contrary to the Anchorage Museum, the Museum of Northern British Columbia’s mission statement is “to protect, explore and reflect the natural and cultural heritage of the Northwest Coast for the citizens of the Northwest Coast and their visitors, and to encourage the use of the Museum, its facilities and programs” (Museum of Northern British Columbia). Both museums’ mission statements imply their dedication to serving their community. However, when comparing the mission statement of each museum, the Museum of Northern British Columbia is much more direct in describing its mission. Whereas the Anchorage Museum is vaguer in its mission statement to describe its purpose in serving the community and representing its permanent exhibitions showcasing Alaskan Native culture and heritage.

Exhibition programs offered by both museums are similarly formatted but with slight differences. Both museums provide a similar online format for virtual audiences to view permanent and temporary exhibitions. However, the Anchorage Museum provides two additional features of “upcoming exhibitions” and “online exhibitions” that online audiences are able to view. Despite the Museum of Northern British Columbia showing only the two aforementioned exhibition options, it also organizes its permanent exhibitions according to the inner locations of where each exhibit can be found. Overall, each museum’s exhibition programs maintain the display of indigenous circumpolar northern cultures native to their own locations.

Question: What differences can you see between museums in Alaska and another location when representing/presenting information about indigenous cultures of the circumpolar north?

The Treasures Gallery showcases the fusion of spirit power, and art. Courtesy of the Museum of Northern British Columbia

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