"One of the many controversies in Anthropology is how the past is represented (Irma Eckert 1987)." Is it represented accurately or does it have a biased opinion? A significant source that we rely on for obtaining accurate information about the past is our museums. Yet how accurate are they in capturing all the different kinds of cultures throughout North America? .
This essay will examine a Native North American band called the Chipewyans, in comparison to an immigrant North American culture, from Norway. It will also demonstrate, from various sources that "The Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature" represents Chipewyans accurately, yet poorly represents the immigrant Norwegian North American culture.
The aboriginal group of most interest in this thesis is the Chipewyan, a branch of the Northern Athapaskans. "The Chipewyan are commonly designated as the "Northern Indians" so often referred to in the early fur trade (Irma Eckert 1987: 2)." The "Caribou-Eater" Chipewyan band was given this name simply because the band was made up of nomadic hunters who followed the movement patterns of the caribou. They depended primarily on the caribou for meat, hide, clothing and many other essentials that were needed for their survival. They also were dependent on fishing and therefore often settled their camps near great fishing areas, so as to ensure a food supply .
The Chipewyan men were primarily responsible for hunting, fishing, and trapping. J.M. Penard's attempted (1929: 200-224) to demonstrate the responsibilities of hunting caribou among the Chipewyan band. A woman was never allowed on these types of hunting expeditions, yet the women were expected to prepare the hides to be used in various ways. Women also manufactured containers and bags for the storage of food that men would use to bring back the meat after long hunting expeditions. Men would also set traps for small game such as grouse, rabbit, fox, etc and the women would be required to retrieve the animals for preparation.