Permanent Exhibit: Yin tah of the Witsuwit’en
The Bulkley Valley Museum is on the traditional territory (yin tah) of the Witsuwit’en people. Our permanent Witsuwit’en exhibit area features artifacts, images and information about the Witsuwit’en, past and present. Image source: “Niwhts’ide’ni Hibi’it’en The Ways of Our Ancestors”, by Melanie Morin.
Temporary Exhibit: Mining the Northwest: Fortunes Won and Lost in the Bulkley Valley
Mining history runs deep in the Bulkley Valley. In the early 1900s, placer miners came by sternwheeler and pack horse, seeking gold and other resources like those found in the Cariboo and the Yukon. The influx of Euro-Canadian miners brought both opportunity and conflict to the First Nations peoples who have lived here since time immemorial.
Hardworking mining men and women helped form the fabric of communities like Smithers. Though independent and self-reliant, these miners also worked together for common causes, forming groups like the Smithers Miners and Prospector’s Association to promote their interests in the broader political landscape of the province.
Mining has been a part of the Bulkley Valley’s cultural fabric for over 100 years. This exhibit focuses on the early twentieth century: a time when fortunes were won and lost.
Temporary Exhibit: Pre-Emption in 1915
Learn about the history of Euro-Canadian settlement via pre-emption in the Bulkley Valley. Our exhibit features maps, surveyor’s tools, and stories about the formation of Smithers, Hazelton, Aldermere, and Telkwa.
Permanent Exhibit: Smithers Gift to Civilization
One of the Bulkley Valley’s most noteworthy former residents was a resourceful pioneer, newspaper editor, and inventor: Joseph Coyle. Our permanent display pays homage to Mr. Coyle’s most famous invention: the humble egg carton.
Broken Arrow: The Story of the Crashed B-36 Bomber
On the cold, dark night of February 13th 1950, an American B-36 bomber carrying a deadly weapon mysteriously disappears from the skies. Several years later, its wreckage is found on a remote mountain hillside in northwest British Columbia. Our exhibit on America’s first “Broken Arrow” delves into the unanswered questions, and features original parts of the plane from the crash site.