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Our First Royal Visit

ACCI was honoured to receive our first royal visit on June 24, 2013!

Dr. Mingying La, a princess of the Na
(Mosuo) people from the northwest of China, came to explore our unique culture
and exchange ideas about cultural preservation. Dr. Mingying La, who is
associated with the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences, was joined by Madame
Cao Jian Ping, the director of the Mosuo Cultural Museum in Lugu Lake. They
were accompanied by Dr. Shaoting Yin, the Head of Anthropology Museum at Yunnan
University, Mrs. Wuyun Tuya, a PhD candidate from Lanzhou University in China,
and Dr. Qing Li, from the University of Ottawa.

The Na people are an ethnic minority in
China facing similar challenges to us. Like us, the Na are concerned with
cultural maintenance wishing to preserve their culture for future generations
and assist younger generations in learning about their culture. As we recognize
at ACCI, future generations are the key to survival for any culture; working to
preserve invaluable objects important to knowledge of our history, and creating
engaging and relevant learning opportunities is at the heart of much of our

The Na have a unique language that many
younger Na today loosing proficiency in. As in Eeyou Istchee, there is a great
deal of work by the Na to be completed to ensure the survival of their
language. The Na language, like Cree, has an oral tradition; the history of
their people was learned by priests and passed by word of mouth from generation
to generation. Because the use of writing system aids in language maintenance,
the Na are urgently working to create a written form of the Na language. They
will use this writing system to ensure that their history and stories are
recorded for future generations.

Having a visit from a very interesting
group of people is not new to ACCI.  We
welcome unique groups often, but the opportunity to welcome a royal guest was a
first for us. We tried our best to be of use to them as part of their mission
of learning. We discussed our work and what we do to protect and preserve our
culture and cultural objects. After coming to see our state of the art
building, the group left with ideas about to how to run their cultural centre
so that it can be highly effective in achieving their vision.   Hopefully this new found partnership will
bring forward wonderful opportunities to share and discuss in the future!

For more information about the Mosuo and
their cultural development project, please check out their website.