Arctic Cultural Heritage Resource Network

Drawing of nature scene.
Toongalook (Arctic Bay), What I Had Seen a Long Time Ago, 1964, graphite on paper, 50 x 65 cm, Terrence Peter Ryan Baffin Island Drawing Collection. Canadian Museum of History IV-C-6848.

My project aims to reconnect Inuit communities in the high arctic with their cultural heritage that’s largely spread in museums in the South.

Dr. Norman Vorano, associate professor in the Department of Art History and a Queen’s National Scholar, was awarded a 2017 Trudeau Fellowship to create the Arctic Cultural Heritage Resource Network (ACHRN). ACHRN will be an online platform that allows users in Arctic communities to create and share cultural knowledge of the past and present through access to museum resources. The project, which involves the creation of a searchable, culturally appropriate data network, will see the installation of computers in several heritage centres across Nunavut, and will give Inuit in the territory increased access to their own cultural heritage, which is overwhelmingly housed in southern museums. Initial steps will include the digitization of Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings From 1964, an exhibit that was displayed at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Winter of 2017, along with satellite exhibits in Clyde River, Pond Inlet, and Iqaluit, Nunavut (in 2017-2018). As the ACHRN grows, it will become an important tool in Inuktitut language programs, place-name mapping, oral history recording, Nunavut curriculum, and historical/cultural studies. Presented in culturally- and linguistically-sensitive formats, ACHRN will advance cross-cultural understanding between Inuit and non-Inuit Canadians, northerners and southerners, and Canadians and the world.

To learn more about Norman Vorano and his work, read this Queen’s Gazette article. Additional information on the ACHRN project can be found on the Trudeau Foundation website.