Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
David McLennan

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum showcases the natural, geologic, and First Nations history of Saskatchewan. Drawing 140,000 visitors annually to its Regina location, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum offers a range of educational programs, exhibits, and research activities. The museum's history in Saskatchewan dates back to 1906, when the Provincial Museum of Natural History (as it was called then) first opened in the Regina Trading Company Ltd. building. The Provincial Museum moved to the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in 1911, and then in 1916 to a more permanent home in Regina's Normal School building, where it remained for nearly forty years. On May 16, 1955, Governor General Vincent Massey officially opened the museum's current location in Regina's Wascana Centre and dedicated the new building to the pioneers of Saskatchewan. The facility was constructed as a Golden Jubilee project commemorating Saskatchewan's 50th anniversary in Confederation. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh visited the museum's new location during their 1959 royal visit to the province. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum houses three main galleries: the Life Sciences Gallery highlights Saskatchewan's ecological regions and their native animals, birds, fish, and insects; the First Nations Gallery celebrates 12,000 years of Aboriginal history and culture in the province, and presents a unique selection of artworks and artifacts; and the Earth Sciences Gallery details the prehistoric and geologic history of Saskatchewan. Each gallery offers colourful dioramas, murals, displays, hands-on exhibits, and interactive-learning stations. The museum is also a storehouse for representative collections of floral, faunal, and fossil specimens from around the province. Since the 1950s, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum has been actively involved in the excavation of fossils in southwestern Saskatchewan. In 1995, the museum opened the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Fossil Research Centre in Eastend. The Fossil Centre relocated in 2000 to Eastend's T. Rex Discovery Centre, home of Saskatchewan's only Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

Iain Stewart