The Division of Ethnology and Cultural Studies (DECS) is one of two divisions responsible for conducting research at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The Ethnology Service develops a program of research, representation and collections development concerning the traditional and contemporary culture of Canadian First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit and Métis. Research programs are concerned with culture, history, ethnobiology, linguistics, material culture and contemporary art.
Cultural Studies has the mandate to record and study various aspects of folk and contemporary culture among all ethnocultural groups in Canada with the exception of Aboriginal Peoples.
The Division conducts a variety of research and collection programs which range from the collection and analysis of oral lore to the acquisition and conservation of all aspects of Canadian cultural expression.
The Division’s archives contain written and oral material, as well as photographs, films and videotapes on folk-related activities. The DECS also houses an extensive artifact collection which is accessible through the Cultural Assets Information System (CAIS) and illustrates all aspects of expressive culture. The archival and artifact collections serve as resource materials for researchers, scholars and students.
The division will focus on providing:
- exposure to research methods and procedures used in the collection, analysis and synthesis of data from both field study and the artifact collections
- an understanding of the importance of accurate research and documentation in the display and interpretation of artifacts
- awareness of the importance of maintaining ongoing relationships when developing joint projects with Native communities or cultural agencies
- an overview of procedures used in selecting, evaluating, interpreting and presenting folk culture
- exposure to archival organization and research methods including the collection and preservation of oral history.
Specific Learning Outcomes
These objectives will be reached through assigned tasks and projects which may include the following skills or procedures.
The intern may:
- study CMCC collections
- use methods of collecting, analysing and synthesizing information
- participate in aspects of exhibition development
- learn to integrate ideas, information and objects in an exhibit or program
- practise techniques for the documentation of artifacts and works of art
- gain knowledge of issues in the development of collections
- register and process new acquisitions
- participate in the analysis and synthesis of folk-culture research
- gain experience in documentation techniques
- implement recognized procedures in processing and maintaining an archival collection; participate in archival research
- discover the role of the curator in collections development, for example, in the authentication of acquired artifacts
- organize various media using recognized procedures.