Skip to main content

Niska Noel takes over the Timmins Museum


Indigenous artisans are displaying and selling their cultural creations at a two-day craft show in Timmins.

Niska Noel has taken over the Timmins Museum, as a way to support local craftspeople and showcase local Indigenous culture.

The event is an opportunity for local Indigenous groups to share their traditions. It also provides an opportunity to bring attention to the creative craftwork of artisans from Timmins and area First Nations.

Over a dozen vendors are selling artwork rooted in culture passed down for generations.

"We started off with the soapstone carvings, the wife and I. We’ve been doing it for 45 years, over 45 years, I guess now," said local artist John Etherington.

"Then we started doing different stuff and that … feathers and some paintings that I do."

This is the third Niska Noel in Timmins and organizers told CTV News the interest from the community has grown each year.

Originally starting off as a one-day event organized between the museum and the Mennonite Central Committee, it has expanded to a weekend showcase. Organizers of the event now also include the Ojibway and Cree Cultural Centre and the Timmins Native Friendship Centre.

"When the Indigenous artists are creating these moccasins and beaded handwork, these are traditions that they’ve carried on," said Monica Towsley, the program co-ordinator for the museum.

"I think with, especially in this time, when we’re looking for truth and reconciliation and learning about their culture, that we have this opportunity to come meet the actual artisans and purchase something from them … is just a step in the right direction."

Towsley added that it is a chance to directly support Indigenous businesses.

One artist was looking for a way to support herself during the pandemic, so Feather Metatawabin decided to honour her late father and fellow artist Gordon Goodwin by selling prints of his cultural work along with her own creations.

"I’m always humbled by the amount of people who recognize his art," she said.

"Because we literally came from nothing and now people still buy his art and he passed away 12 years ago."

The event continues Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Timmins Museum where attendees can sample bannock-on-a-stick and register to learn to make a dreamcatcher, if space is still available.

For more information on the event, visit the Timmins Museum National Exhibition Centre’s Facebook page. Top Stories

Stay Connected