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"national museum american indian" Discussed on The Takeaway

The Takeaway

04:06 min | 3 weeks ago

"national museum american indian" Discussed on The Takeaway

"Alternate swede did a range of loans from the tribal museums are tribal collections or commissions directly to their community members but for those objects that came back from the smithsonian to oklahoma. We have worked with the national museum. American indian who's been a fantastic partner to conserve them and stabilize them for travel and for a long term exhibition and then or nine of them through lena's research in the archival notes from the collector. She was able to identify the descendants of nine of the families. And we've been able to reunite those families with those objects. And i consider this probably the height of the most critical point that our museum might take the path armor museum might take over what another museum might do. It's not simply about putting those those objects on exhibition because really anybody can do that but for us to be able to reconnect these objects with their families to me. That's the profound difference of indigenous curator's working in the field. Can you talk a bit more about the tensions for public. Historian for museum or maybe. They aren't tensions. The the way that you reconcile the observation of outsiders those to whom these objects do not belong. There is not This either familial tribal or sacred connection these audiences versus that capacity as you just said to return these two families and communities where they do have this particular meaning. What are the multiple goals of the museum. Well thank you. That's a great question because our museum really was founded with the intention of telling the story of our tribes and uniquely from a native perspective. You asked earlier. What are some of the things that have changed. That make now the right time. And i would say that one of the biggest advances has been the capacity for there to be a native american tribal member who experienced leader for our institution. So james pepper henry who's a citizen of the Nation also descended from the muskogee creek nation. He's actually currently vice chair of his tribe as he's serving there and serving this museum equally so twelve years ago. When i started carrying at the university of oklahoma i was one of only three native. Americans curator n. a non-tribal or nonfederal museum. The field has expanded and we were able to build an entirely native curatorial team to tell a story in a manner that is both bold and aggressive in that we didn't shy away from the difficult components of our stories but also absolutely an act of deep respect and responsibility for telling the stories that our ancestors would never have been able to have the opportunity of museum where they would be seen as an authority. It may be the greatest honor of my career but it was also a great burden and figuring out how we could represent. Thirty nine tribes. We are curatorial team of eleven. All tribal citizens really. We had to dig deep in order to be able to represent stories for tribes who were not represented by a member on the curatorial team and especially those smaller tribes for home. There's a real dearth in the scholarship. So we're really pleased with what we've been able to do one of the tasks i've carried for the last couple of weeks as we've been preparing to open. We actually prepared the galleries in advanced to give us enough time to start taking tribal leaders through the galleries and give them a chance to see what we've done and letting them tell us where they would like things to be improved. Not just letting them but asking them. What would you like to do because we're gonna be here for one hundred years. This is only just the beginning. And we've got to build the relationships upon which we can rely to become an institution that is really deserving of the name of first americans museum. Dr heather atone. Thank you for taking on this burden. And this honor with such respect..

james pepper henry muskogee creek national museum lena oklahoma university of oklahoma Dr heather