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Local secret agents seek their own proof at Galt Museum

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Would be “secret agents”  age 8-12 can get an early start in their training, and learn a few things about history  in the process thanks to an innovative new online video game called “Seek Your Own Proof,” which includes a Galt Museum component.
“It’s aimed at audiences aged 8-12 to  get the kids excited about  science and history. They try to  act like secret agents,” said Jason Suriano, president and executive producer of his Edmonton based company Seek Your Own Proof.Jason Suriano stands by a screen showing Seek your Own Proof. Photo by Richard Amery

The University of Lethbridge graduate has been working on this project for the past three years and struck partnerships with the Discovery Channel and  museums in Times Square, New York,  as well as the Galt.

They are also putting the final touches on programs with Edmonton and Seattle as well.

In addition to a variety of cases the agents can solve online, there are also “field missions”— King Tut NYC, at the Times Square Exposition,” and “Night at the Galt Museum” at  the Galt Museum in Lethbridge which was officially launched , Aug. 20 with numerous members of  the University of Lethbridge’s LUMACS summer science/computer science program.

“We really wanted the Galt Museum to  be the first Canadian program,” Suriano said before distributing worksheets  to the bidding agents, who were to go through the exhibit with a fine toothed comb, looking at  the pieces in the main exhibit, reading the information accompanying them and writing down clue words. Afterwards they go to the site, sign up and enter the resulting code to redeem  “secret agent” badges as well as tokens which can be redeemed at the gift shops of the participating museums for things like  Discovery Channel videos and souvenirs.


New endowment fund for Galt Museum established

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The Friends of the Galt Museum & Archives Society has made a significant first contribution of $15,000 to kick-start "The Friends of the Galt Museum & Archives Endowment" newly established at the Lethbridge Community Foundation.

The Friends Society has worked for the last few years towards the launch of the Fund, along with the Board of the Galt, with the aim of ensuring the longevity of the Galt, the preservation of the region's history, and the opportunity to educate
and create awareness for local residents and visitors from around the world.  

"As the mandate of the Galt is to preserve our history for generations to come,"
says Dr. Glenn Coulter, President of the Friends of the Galt Society, "the creation and support of an endowment fund is an important mechanism to help facilitate the achievement of this mandate in perpetuity."

According to Lucelle Prindle, Past President of the Galt Board of Directors, "the Board supports the establishment of the Endowment Fund as partially fulfilling our Strategic Plan goal of financial stability."  
For information on contributing towards the growth of the Endowment Fund, please
contact Susan Burrows-Johnson, CEO and Executive Director at the Galt Museum & Archives at 403.329-7300.  More information on the Lethbridge Community Foundation is available at or by phone at 403-328-5297.
For Galt Museum & Archives details visit, call 403.320-3954, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

— Special to L.A. Beat

Long journey for ‘our ancestors to come and visit’ at the Galt

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It has been a long journey, over the past six years, but after a couple weeks of intensive workshops with Blackfoot people and Museum volunteers and experts, the Galt Museum has opened its doors to the public for their new exhibit ‘Our Ancestors Have Come To Visit.’
The  five  traditional  Blackfoot  shirts, collected in 1841 by Hudson’s Bay Company head  George Simpson and his Blanche Bruisedhead and Laura Peers discuss one of the shirts. Photo by Richard Ameryassistant Edward Hopkins, will be on loan to the Galt Museum until Aug. 29 through the Pitt River Museum in Oxford, England.
The five shirts  have been put on dummies in display cases which are accompanied by  booklets outlining their historical significance. In addition, the Galt has arranged to borrow two traditional Blackfoot dresses, which are  a little  younger than the shirts. And, because the shirts were traditionally worn and designed to reflect the owners’ accomplishments, modern uniforms have also been included including graduation gowns.
“It’s just  such a great feeling to see these shirts. Their contexts are magnified,” said Dr. Laura Peers, curator of Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, who who has been working with Blackfoot elders as well as  Heather Richardson and  Dr. Alison K Brown from the University of Aberdeen to bring these shirts back home for a visit. Their work is just beginning. they are working on a book about the project and the history of the shirts, which should be out around 2013.

Traditional Blackfoot shirts on display at the Galt this week

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Five traditional 140-year old Blackfoot deer skin shirts on loan from the Pitt River museum in Oxford, England, are a piece of living history that Galt Blanche Bruisedhead uses a magnifying glass to examine the designs on one of the shirts. Photo By Richard AmeryMuseum patrons will be able to view from June 5- Aug. 29.
 Marked with the accomplishments of the owners, Blackfoot warriors would have had to earn the right to wear them around 1841 when Hudson’s Bay Company head  George Simpson and his assistant Edward Hopkins collected them and brought them to England.
“The first time I saw them, I started thinking of ways to walk home with them, ” Blackfoot Kainai elder Frank Weaslehead told a crowd of media representatives, adding he didn’t think he had earned the right to wear them, though he spent the past six years of his life working to bring them home for a visit. He said  the media usually only focuses on the negative things about the Blackfoot people, however there are many positive accomplishments which could be reflected on modern versions of the shirts.

Galt preparing for exhibit of Blackfoot shirts

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It is not often people are allowed to touch  140 year old artifacts, but The Galt Museum is hosting approximately workshops over the next couple weeks allowing members of the Blackfoot tribe, elders, schools, artists  and students  that rare opportunity.Laura Peers and Heather Richardson speak of the shirts. Photo by Richard Amery
Five  traditional  Blackfoot  shirts, collected in 1841 by Hudson’s Bay Company head  George Simpson and his assistant Edward Hopkins, are coming home for  a visit  thanks to six years of  hard work and organization, the Galt museum, Glenbow Museum and the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford, England, plus  consultation with  Blackfoot elders.
 The deer skin shirts include formal wear decorated with  intricate quill work, horse and human hair and drawings as well as a rougher work shirt,  have been on display at the Glenbow museum since March.
 The exhibit opens to the public June 5 at the Galt Museum, however Galt Museum staff and local media got a special sneak preview of the shirts, May 19.

“We’ve been working closely  with the elders  for six of seven years on this project alone,”  said Alison Brown from the University of Aberdeen, who has been working with the elders as well as Dr. Laura Peers of the University of Oxford and Heather Richardson to bring the shirts back for a visit.

Heather Richardson said they, as well as Oxford staff having direct contact with the shirts, brought a Blackfoot elder over to Britain to learn more and lead them through the ceremonial aspects  of the project.

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