Revealing objects of unimagined beauty and rarity, this book brings readers into the world of the Aboriginal nations of Quebec, Canada, the United States, Amazonia, and Oceania. The history of this collection spans a period stretching from New France (1600), with objects brought back by the priests of the Séminaire de Québec from missions in various regions of the Americas, to the present, with the most recent donations by collectors passionate about history and the ways of life of the First Peoples. The collections at Quebec's Musées de la Civilisation are rich and diversified, and its First Peoples collections are among the world’s most important. This book presents more than 150 objects attributed to indigenous peoples, mainly from North America but also from the Amazon region and from Oceania. Objects are described using the First Nations’ authentic nomenclature, thus providing a scientific contribution to ethnology and the museum community. This will ensure the use of a correct and accurate vocabulary for the names of objects, material, provenance, and uses of the different objects. Some 20 authors were asked to write articles dealing with the development and the history of the collections. Taking a new look at the artifacts and archival material, they revisit the history of relations between Europeans and first peoples, up to and including joint Museum-First Nation exhibitions and projects.
Marie-Paule Robitaille worked as curator of Amerindian and Métis collections for Parks Canada and manager of the Maison Louis Riel in Winnipeg. She has been the curator of the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City since 1988.
"Indeed, the book is a treasure trove of information, with 15 essays about the collection and hundreds of illustrations, all with explanations of what the object depicted was used for. It also contains footnotes to more references, and a long bibliography." —John Pohl, Montreal Gazette