The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia will be home to a significant collection of historical and contemporary Indigenous artworks and a new Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Doggone Foundation and the Government of Canada. The anonymous donation of more than 200 pieces of Indigenous art, worth an estimated $7 million, is believed to be the largest collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art to return to BC in recent decades.
“It is an honour for UBC to receive this distinguished collection of Indigenous art at MOA where it will be accessible to both the campus community and visitors,” said UBC President Prof. Santa Ono in a media release. “The collection supports the university’s long-standing commitment to Aboriginal engagement, and to furthering the public’s awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures and histories.”
The collection will be housed in a new Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks, funded by a $3 million donation from the Doggone Foundation, a Montreal-based charity, and a $500,000 grant from the federal government as part of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. With support from the Musqueam community, whose traditional ancestral territory includes UBC’s Point Grey campus, the new gallery will further MOA’s long-standing collaborations with First Nations artists and community members in order to research and build new knowledge about Northwest Coast art.
Construction of the new gallery begins this month and is expected to be completed in time to open to the public by National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2017.