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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Mapping the night sky: we are made of stardust + The Celestial Bear


Indigenous Interdisciplinary Museum Visual arts Youth & teens
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McMaster Museum of Art

1280 Main St W

Hamilton, ON



Offered in English.

Wheelchair accessible and has gender-neutral washrooms.


Celebrate Culture Days with the M(M)A and the W.J. McCallion Planetarium through an evening exploring Indigenous cosmologies and astronomy!

Join us for a guided tour of the we are made of stardust exhibition at the museum, followed by a presentation of The Celestial Bear: The Six Nations' Night Sky at the Planetarium.

DATE: Thurs Sept 29, 2022

TIME: 5:30-8:00pm

FREE & open to the public! Register now as spots are limited. Details related to meeting place will be sent via email closer to the event date.

REGISTER via Eventbrite:

we are made of stardust

Curated by Rhéanne Chartrand

Presented at the McMaster Museum of Art from August 16 – December 2, we are made of stardust explores our relationship with the cosmos.

Rooted in Indigenous cosmologies and astronomy, the artworks included in this exhibition visually express how Indigenous peoples make sense of their place in the universe through relating to and reflecting on the sun, the moon, the stars, and all celestial beings in the night sky. Featuring artwork by over 20 Indigenous artists.

The Celestial Bear: The Six Nations' Night Sky

McMaster’s W.J. McCallion Planetarium brings together knowledge from Six Nations storytellers and the Indigenous Studies Program with knowledge from the Department of Physics and Astronomy to examine powerful connections between ancient legends of the sky and modern scientific observation.

Join us for a fascinating show that blends local culture, history, and modern-day astronomy that shares the Six Nations' sky lore and language through traditional indigenous night-sky stories. With narration and visuals by a live presentation and pre-recorded excerpts (in English, Mohawk, and Cayuga), learn about the story of the bear and the brothers and how it is retold every year with the rotating patterns in the night sky. See the same stars with a completely different understanding and appreciation! This show was collaboratively produced by members of the Six Nations, McMaster's Indigenous Studies Program, and the McCallion Planetarium. We strongly encourage visitors to the Planetarium to wear masks for the duration of the show as the space is small and enclosed.

An M(M)A N. Gillian Cooper Education Program and W. J. McCallion Planetarium collaboration.

Please note: The M(M)A galleries and Planetarium are accessible. Please let us know if you require use of the accessible entrance to the Planetarium.

If you have any questions please contact Teresa Gregorio, M(M)A Education Officer at [email protected]


McMaster Museum of Art

McMaster University sits on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations and within the lands protected by the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement.

The McMaster Museum of Art is a meeting space for both the campus and the community situated within the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations. The Museum engages, educates and inspires through: growing an awareness of the interconnectivity of the past, present and future; advancing de-colonization; engaging in innovative and imaginative research; dismantling institutional and ideological boundaries; partnering and collaborating with intentionality; diversifying the collection; and building capacity.

The William J. McCallion Planetarium was the first planetarium in Ontario which offered shows to the public. The original projector was purchased in 1949 from money raised through public subscription and donations from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Hamilton Centre. In the early days, a war-surplus parachute was suspended from the ceiling and used as the planetarium dome. In 1954, the original projector found more permanent accommodation in a custom-designed room in what is now called the Burke Science Building. The first projector was donated to Mount Allison University and replaced with a Spitz model A2 projector in 1961. In 1992, the Ontario Science Centre, in cooperation with the London Children's Museum, donated a more modern and sophisticated Spitz A3P projector to McMaster. In 2008, the newly-refurbished planetarium re-opened with a Digitarium Alpha 2 system - the first digital projector housed in the McCallion Planetarium.

The planetarium is named after William J. McCallion, in recognition of his central role in the development of the planetarium at McMaster. Over the years, it is estimated that he gave presentations to as many as 100,000 people. He also served as Director of Educational Services and Dean of the School of Adult Education while at McMaster.