Sept. 3, 2019: The Itsanitaq Museum, Churchill, Manitoba

 

The Itsanitaq Museum isn’t hard to find; nothing in Churchill, Manitoba is hard to find. The town, best known for its polar bears and beluga whales, also offers this exceptional museum.

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I am here in Churchill with Frontiers North Adventures. In July and August the tour company offers its Big Five Safari. The Big Five include moose, bison, black bears as well as Churchill’s polar bears and beluga whales. (And yes, I see all five in their natural habitat.)

We also make many stops that have nothing to do with the animals, but impressive nonetheless. One is the Itsanitaq Museum. Until recently it was known as the Eskimo Museum.

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This one-room museum showcases an exceptional collection of Inuit carvings made of whalebone, soapstone and caribou antler. Following the cases that line the walls and fill the space in the center of the room I am offered a look at intricate work including centuries-old harpoon heads and bone carvings.  

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The history, life and times of the Inuit are told through this incredible work.  

There is an excellent gift shop. Among the t-shirts, stuffed animals and key chains are Inuit carving for sale.

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A trip to Churchill should definitely include a visit to this little museum with so much rich history.

There is no admission charge, but donations are appreciated.

 

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