Situated on Musqueam land, the Museum of Anthropology housed First Nation everyday objects and carvings from all over British Columbia. In one section the ceiling was a good thirty metres high to house the carved totem poles. Several brentwood boxes were on display that were not only for storage but were also used for cooking and sometimes as coffins. With so much rain on the west coast, these cedar boxes, using a steam-bending technique, were waterproof.
Beyond the First Nation section, artifacts from many parts of Asia and Africa were housed in an equally large part of the museum. Outside was a Haida house exhibit. This group of First Nation peoples inhabited the Queen Charlotte Islands. The buildings were constructed back in the early 1960s under the guidance of a First Nation artist, Bill Reid. He even carved some of the house poles and free standing Haida poles.
The larger building represented a family dwelling, the smaller building a mortuary chamber. Although the bigger construction had a fire pit inside, the building remained locked except for special occasions.