Museum of Northern British Columbia
You can easily spend several hours at the fascinating Museum of Northern British Columbia (100 1st Ave. W, 250/624-3207, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–8 p.m. and Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. June–Aug., Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. the rest of the year, adult $5, child $2), which occupies an imposing post-and-beam building overlooking the harbor.
Exhibits trace the history of Prince Rupert from 5,000-year-old Tsimshian settlements through fur-trading days to the founding of the city in 1914 as the western terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Many of the most fascinating displays spotlight the Coast Tsimshian natives—their history, culture, traditions, trade networks, and potlatches.
Among the Tsimshian artifacts on display: totem poles, pots, masks, beautiful wooden boxes, blankets, baskets, shiny black argillite carvings, weapons, and petroglyphs. The Monumental Gallery—filled with contemporary art—is worth visiting for the sweeping harbor views alone.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition