Culturally Informed Collections Stewardship (Level 1)
Collaboration and consultation with originating communities and the adoption of culturally informed stewardship are emerging as best practices for museum collections. Culturally informed stewardship, or cultural care, takes a holistic and culturally inclusive approach to preservation, access, and use of cultural items, records, and images. Instructors will discuss colonial collection histories, provide select readings that offer diverse perspectives on collections care, and emphasize the importance of collaboration and consultation in all facets of collections care. Students will learn about the topics below from instructors, guest speakers, case studies, and hands-on activities.
Course topics include:
- The impact of colonialism on museums and Indigenous communities
- Implementation of respectful terminology
- Collaboration and consultation principles and practice
- Policy and procedure related to cultural care, access, and use
- Culturally appropriate storage materials and methods (hands-on kit provided!)
This four-week course uses a blended learning format. The class meets synchronously two hours per week via video conferencing, along with asynchronous discussions, readings, and hands-on activities. Participants build community through small group activities during synchronous class, online discussions, and virtual gatherings. Live sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 pm CST.
The course fee includes course materials, shipping, and Center for Collections Care swag. One hands-on kit and instructions will be mailed to participants before the start of class.
This class is a beginner-level course that serves as an important companion to all collections related courses, including Fundamentals of Collections Care which is offered annually. These courses need not be taken in sequence.
About the Instructor
Jessie Ryker-Crawford (White Earth Chippewa, or Anishinaabe) is the current Director of the MFA Cultural Administration Department at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and teaches as a full professor in the Museum Studies Program. She is an alumni of IAIA, receiving an AFA in both Studio Arts and Museum Studies. She received her MA in Cultural Anthropology – with a minor in American Indian Studies –and PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington (UW) focusing on the Indigenization of the museum field. Dr. Ryker-Crawford acts as a tribal advisor and has presented material on her studies at various conferences including the Association for Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums, the National Congress of the American Indian, and the International World Archaeological Congress; she has published numerous articles and book chapters on Native American art and Indigenous models of exhibition and collections care.
Dr. Jennifer Shannon is on leave from her position as Curator & Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder to serve as Manager of the new Outreach & Engagement Planning Office at the National Museum of the American Indian. She practices collaborative anthropology and her classes and work center Native Nations’ perspectives on museum collections. As a consultant prior to her current position, Dr. Shannon evaluated and provided training on documenting cultural care for the NMAI.