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Erin Suliak and the Delicious Exhibit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center

       The Delicious Exhibit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center showcases different ways how northerners have prepared and cooked food over the generations. Erin Suliak, who helped curate the exhibit and is an archivist of the Northwest Territories Archives mentioned that a lot of themes were discussed when trying to decide what to do the exhibit on.

“But the theme that kept on coming up was talking about food and talking about the ways that we celebrate with food, the ways that we gather food, just sort of our Northern food ways was something that kept on cropping up, as we kept on talking about the possibilities that we had. And so then we looked at that idea and we thought, well, this is something that everyone can relate to.

Erin has access to over 600,000 photographs with the N W T Archive. She and the rest of the archivists working on the project knew there were lots of different aspects of food that they wanted to cover when putting together the collection for the exhibit.

As we were planning this exhibit, we knew that there were certain themes that we wanted to explore. So that, the idea of food is celebration, so like community feasts, learning about food through the generations, so having children involved. The idea of food as something that happens at festivals, always when we have a festival, there is a food component and often it’s these food competitions, you know, Tea Boiling Competitions, Bannock Making Competitions, and sometimes they go even further like preparing seal, preparing fish, skinning, muskrat. That’s all food related and a wonderful thing to be able to call up and explore.

Erin’s department has two main objectives. First, to find, archive and preserve history from across the Territory, and second, to share that history with the Territory.

So we are just overjoyed when our photographs get into the wild and get it into the community and are used and appreciated. We just love it. So to me, it was just a thrill to be able to feature these photos in the food exhibit, but I love seeing the archives photos, they’re actually all over the territory, and I’m just so pleased when I see them out and about because that is the point. In order to appreciate our history, we have to be able to see it.” – Erin Suliak Archiviest for the NWT Archives

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