Stephanie Power, B.Ed Student, MSVU & Research Assistant at Pier 21, blogs about her experiences at Imagining Gateways.
Pier 21 has the unofficial slogan of being the Gateway to Canada. It wasn’t the only port of immigration—a detail sometimes overlooked, but the museum is a gateway to Canada and is the only one of its kind. Pier 21’s resident historian, Steve Schwinghamer, showed that during his tour of the museum on Friday.
Everything in the museum can be linked to immigration and the peopling of Canada. That covers some obvious outcomes sprinkled among all levels of the Nova Scotia curriculum (and most likely that of other Canadian province’s). There are others though, buried beneath the surface. Sometimes you need to know the museum to see them, sometimes you have to be creative. Sometimes you have to be really hopeful.
The museum houses photographs, primary documents, first hand accounts of immigration and military service, artefacts and multiple interpretation of what is was like to be foreign, an immigrant, a soldier and a Canadian. Pier 21 makes connection between themes like war, cultural identity, social justice, social injustice, government decisions and its effects, technology, human rights, and gender identity. You may need to get creative, but Pier 21 offers a tangible way to link abstract concepts to not just real events, but real people.
- Stephanie Power, B.Ed Student, MSVU & Research Assistant at Pier 21.