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The Collection for Adventurers!

I am one month in to my new job as Curator of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) Museum Collection at The Manitoba Museum and I’m still in that “pinch-me” phase, it feels too good to be true.  Why?  Let me fill you in.

I grew up in Winnipeg and I LOVED The Manitoba Museum.  It was through visits to this museum, and other fabulous museums and historic sites in Manitoba, that I developed my interest and passion for human history.  When I moved away for graduate school I never thought that a job would open up in my hometown, let alone at my beloved museum.  Yet here I am, I’ve secured my dream job!

Maybe you’re wondering what makes this job so dreamy, or maybe you too have a long-time love affair with this place so you completely understand where I’m coming from.  We are so lucky to have a museum right here in Winnipeg that has something for everyone.  For me, the HBC collection is particularly exciting as it consists of 26,200 artefacts that I get to explore and to present to you.

One of 3 HBC Storage Rooms

One of 3 large storage rooms for the HBC collection.

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s original name was ‘the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay’.  The Company of Adventurers referred to those who owned stock, they were called ‘adventurers’ because they risked their own money on the establishment of the fur trade.  I feel a bit like an adventurer myself, as I get to explore the vast collections.  In the coming months I’ll share my discoveries with you, no financial risk required!

Point Blankets

An entire cabinet full of point blankets!

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Amelia Fay

Curator of HBC Collection

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Amelia Fay joined The Manitoba Museum in September 2013. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, an MA in Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and is currently finishing her Doctoral degree from MUN. Amelia’s research has focused on Inuit-European contact along the Labrador coast, and her interests are continually expanding to explore Aboriginal-European contact throughout Canada during the fur trade era.

Amelia’s job as Curator of the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection involves building the collection, responding to public inquiries, preparing exhibits, and conducting her own research. Her research interests centre on the interactions between Europeans (including HBC employees) and Aboriginal peoples as they negotiated space, material culture, and their daily activities. Amelia’s goal is to showcase this amazing collection, and highlight the important role that Aboriginal people played in the establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company.