National Museum of the American Indian Cardinal Direction Markers Project
Principal Investigator: Pepper Henry, James (1)
Licence Number: 13548
Organization: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian
Licenced Year(s): 2003
Issued: Sep 12, 2003
Project Team: Douglas E.

Objective(s): The goal of this project is to collect a sample of the Acasta Gneiss from the Slave Craton to be used to represent the peoples and indigenous communities of Canada on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Suitland, Maryland, USA. The museum, which will open to the public in September 2004, is an institution of living cultures dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Americas. The Acasta Gneiss will be one of four "cardinal direction markers", which are special stones on the museum grounds marking the four cardinal directions of North, South, East and West, and metaphors for representing all of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The Acasta Gneiss is the oldest known stone on earth, and will therefore also symbolize the earth's creation and youth. A sample of Acasta Gneiss measuring approximately 1 cubic metre will be extracted from the source site during the Fall 2003 and securely transported to Yellowknife and on to the National Museum of the American Indian. Representatives of the Dogrib First Nation are collaborating in the acquisition of the stone and will be directly involved in special programming regarding the Cardinal Direction Markers Project.