The reconstruction was created from the remains of members of a wealthy aboriginal family from the west coast of Canada.

The reconstruction was created from the remains of members of a wealthy aboriginal family from the west coast of Canada.
Photo Credit: CBC/Canadian Museum of History

Museum presents faces of 4,000-year-old indigenous family


The Canadian Museum of History has revealed the results of a digital facial reconstruction based on the remains of a west coast indigenous family from the shíshálh tribe, also known as the Sechelt First Nation. This tribe lives amid spectacular scenery and is proud of its communal lifestyle that prizes the wisdom of its elders.

Video of shíshálh family facial reconstruction/CBC/Canadian Museum of Hitory

The museum says that the shíshálh Nation requested archaeologists from the museum and the University of Toronto help excavate a burial site near to the community. The remains of five people were discovered including a man in his 50s, a young woman, a set of young, adult, male twins, and an infant.

Amid the bodies were hundreds of thousands of stone and shell beads which suggested they were tremendously wealthy. The museum calls the site “one of the most significant chiefly burial finds in North America.”

The reconstruction of a shíshálh woman shows beads woven into her hair.
The reconstruction of a shíshálh woman shows beads woven into her hair. © Philippe Froesch, Visual Forensic

Reconstruction includes clothing, jewellery

After an in depth study of the remains, they were returned to the community for reburial. The information gathered along with input from the tribe was used to produce “scientifically accurate reconstruction of each of the faces including hair, jewellery, facial expressions and clothing.

The animated model will be presented in the museum’s Canadian History Hall on Canada’s birthday, July 1st. The hall is intended “to present the story of Canada and its people more inclusively and candidly than ever before.” It will trace Canada’s history from the first human habitation to the present.

The Canadian Museum of History is located across the river from the nation’s capital Ottawa in Gatineau, Quebec.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Indigenous, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “Museum presents faces of 4,000-year-old indigenous family
  1. mike gilbert says:

    We visited the museum in 2013 and really enjoyed its displays. Well worth a visit.