The Anthropology Museum at the University of British Columbia is a bit of a journey from downtown, but the collection is worth the effort. While there are many items from Asia, the museum's strength is, not surprisingly, works from the First Nations of Canada's West Coast. Enormous totem poles can be found both in the museum and throughout the grounds. The building itself is by one of Canada's most important contemporary architects, Arthur Erickson, whose design was inspired by the post-and-beam construction of coastal First Nations peoples.
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Artifacts At The MOA
The UBC Museum of Anthropology has an incredible collection of artifacts from all over the world. It's the most extensive collection I have ever seen, not to mention an excellent resource for the history and contemporary perspectives of the First Nations in Canada. Don't miss it!
It's a little bit out of the way but worth the effort. The Museum of Anthropology is located in University of British Columbia's grounds and so you should make you have some time to walk around the lovely grounds. There are great views to be had of the mountains and in the spring there's lovely gardens and some pretty cool architecture.
Bill Reid is one Canada's greatest artists. "The Raven and the First Men" depicts the Haida creation story (Haida being indigenous people in British Columbia, more broadly included in the "First Nations"). The rotunda itself also displays some of his other work in gold, silver, and wood.
Great Collection of First Nations art and artifacts
If you have an interest in anthropology, the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver is a must-see. Highlights are the beautiful The Raven and the First Men sculpture by Bill Reid, various large Musqueam artifacts, and a varied and wonderful textile collection.
Part of the University of British Columbia, this museum houses one of the finest collections of Northwest Coast aboriginal art, including bentwood boxes, feast dishes, totem poles and canoes from the Haida and Coast Salish people. Some artifacts are displayed in a soaring grand hall with views of the Point Grey cliffs. There’s also a respectable European ceramics collection with earthenware and stoneware from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and a rotunda with works from Haida artist Bill Reid, including the massive Raven and the First Men, made out of laminated yellow cedar.