Check out the Niagara Falls Museum’s newest (& 1st) virtual exhibition. “Empathic Traditions: Niagara’s Indigenous Legacy” – curated through the perspective of Indigenous curators and their allies.
The Niagara Region was a place of awe and wonder for the Indigenous peoples who first walked this land. Their ancestors’ footsteps arrived approximately 13,000 years ago as the melting glaciers retreated northward, revealing the Great Lakes of Erie and Ontario and the mighty Niagara River while giving genesis to an environment rich with life.
In this exhibition, Empathic Traditions: Niagara’s Indigenous Legacy, objects selected from the Indigenous collections of the Niagara Falls History Museum reveal the presence of Indigenous peoples, their art and history in the region, extending back hundreds of generations up to the present day. Vivid imagery of the artifacts combined with interpretive information help us understand what life was like for those who first arrived.
By examining projectile points, stone tools, pottery shards, jewelry, and other ancient creations, as well as historic and contemporary items, we learn about the cultural connections Indigenous peoples developed with nature and their relationships with Europeans. We learn how the necessity of survival required the design of useful tools, how function influenced form, and how form created objects of great beauty. If nature is aesthetically pleasing and inspirational then Niagara Falls must be considered a muse of epic proportion. From the first human encounter with the mighty cataracts, artful interpretation ensued.