expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

7 June 2006

Indians of Canada Pavilion

The term "Indians of Canada" isn't exactly politically correct by today's standards. (Come to think of it, I'm not sure "Man and His World" would fly, either... But, hey, that's what gives Expo it's nostalgic charm!)

The architecture of the Indians of Canada pavilion incorporated traditional symbols of Aboriginal culture: the dominant element being a large 100-foot steel and wood teepee-like structure. The exterior wooden walls were painted with colorful murals and a 65-foot totem pole (which still stands today) graced the entrance of the pavilion.

The pavilion was a controversial one. The tone was accusatory, against the White Man, who "stole our native land, our culture, our soul." The exhibits included photographs, drawings and other works of art, depicting the difficulties faced by the Aboriginal people.

Modern school systems were criticized for not being adapted to the needs of Aboriginal children. The exhibit stated that Aboriginal people already knew God before the arrival of Christian missionaries. The pavilion reminded visitors that the first European settlers would have never survived the brutal winters without the support of the Aboriginal people. The final part of the exhibit placed the visitor around a symbolic campfire to ponder the future.

Many visitors to Expo 67 were shocked at the contents of this thought provoking pavilion. The Canadian Government at the time was commended for having supported it.

It goes to show that not everything at Expo 67 was rosy and happy!

photos: expo67.ncf.ca



Blogger stinkypaw said...

Would have loved to see this one.

I guess people need to be reminded, every so often, that life isn't rosey and happy.

The White Man messed things up for the Native in a major way, it was their land and they got pushed over - it's sad when you think of it.

9:46 am  

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