Opened to the public in 1967 and given Royal patronage status in 2005, the Royal Alberta Museum presents the natural and cultural history of Alberta. To this end, the museum draws on its combined collection of over 10 million objects in three permanent exhibitions: the Natural History Gallery, the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture and the Wild Alberta Gallery. Together these three exhibits display rocks and fossils, prehistoric and historic artefacts, and a variety of preserved animals and plants, exhibiting over a billion years of history.
Spanning over 11,000 years and 500 generations, the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture is one of the largest exhibitions of First Nations people in North America. With some 3,000 artefacts in state of the art displays using film, interactive computer technology and a strong Aboriginal presence, the story begins at the last Ice Age and ends in the present exploring the cultural diversity of the First Nation peoples of Canada past and present.
The focus of this gallery of First Nation cultures is a large tipi. From here the diversity of Canadian prehistory is explored in reconstructions of different archaeological sites, including a 9,000-year-old bison hunt site from the plains and a northern, Arctic fishing camp site that dates to around 1,000 years ago. The history of First Nations people in North America continues in this gallery with a reconstruction of the first contact between a European and Aboriginal peoples.
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