Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture | Level 1

Located on the main floor of the Hilary and Galen Weston Wing, the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture, is one of the ROM’s premiere cultural spaces, featuring more than one thousand works of art and cultural heritage. Originally created in 2005 with the input of Indigenous advisors across Canada, this permanent gallery explores aspects of Indigenous cultures through collections housed at the ROM.

The continuing legacy of Canada's First Peoples comes alive in this multi-layered gallery that discusses the complex relationship between past traditions and present life, the work of collectors who sought to document the unique experiences of Indigenous cultures, the development of museums where First Peoples’ material culture could be preserved, and through contemporary art, provide a sense of what it means to be a person of Indigenous ancestry in the contemporary world. European contact brought much change to Indigenous culture, but with this contact came new materials, new markets, and new opportunities for Indigenous cultural expression.

Explore a rich cultural legacy embodied in objects devoted to travel, subsistence, family life, the spiritual world, and artistic expressions. Space devoted to rotating exhibitions brings First Peoples' contemporary works into focus and multimedia spaces allow visitors to hear and savour their rich oral culture. Included is a circular theatre devoted to the screening of films and live performances by Canada’s First Peoples. 

Five Indigenous men and women standing in front of canoes in the First Peoples Gallery

With the addition of an Indigenous Knowledge Resource Teacher, who will be in the Gallery during peak hours, Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, visitors will have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples.

As part of the ROM’s broader effort to foster a greater appreciation of the Indigenous ancestral objects in the Museum's collections, and to support the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, admission to the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture is free-of-charge to the public.

About the Gallery


More than 1,000 objects provide a cultural context for Canada's First Peoples and examine the economic and social forces that have influenced Indigenous culture and art.


Canada, west to the Pacific Ocean, north to the Arctic, east to the Atlantic, with some artifacts from cultures in Alaska and south of the Canada-United States border.


From Pre-European times to the present day.