Sunday, December 04, 2016

Conference Opportunity: Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic Word"

Conference Updates and Upcoming CFP Deadline on December 15th!
"Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic Word"
College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, June 14-17, 2017

Hosted by the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program, the Addlestone Library, and the Race and Social Justice Initiative at the College of Charleston

Conference planners are seeking proposals for workshops, roundtable discussions, panels, and individual papers from public history professionals, scholars, educators, librarians, archivists, and artists that address issues surrounding the interpretation, preservation, memorialization, commemoration, and public application of major themes in local, regional, and Atlantic World history. Based on the United Nation’s declaration of 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent, and the conference location in Charleston, South Carolina, on the second anniversary of the tragic shooting at the Mother Emanuel Church, the conference will particularly highlight speakers and topics relevant to transforming practices of interpreting the history of slavery and its race and class legacies in Charleston and historically interconnected local, regional, and international sites.

Featured Speakers include:
Keynote Lecture: Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum for African American History and Culture
Mr. Michael Allen, National Park Service
Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University
Dr. Richard Benjamin, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool
Ms. Alissandra Cummins, Barbados Museum & Historical Society
Dr. Rex Ellis, Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
Ms. Makiba Foster, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Dr. Bayo Holsey, Rutgers University
Dr. Ned Kaufman, Kaufman Heritage Conservation
Mr. Caryl Phillips, Author and Playwright
Ms. Fath Davis Ruffins, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

For more information about how to submit a proposal, click here.

For questions or concerns contact Dr. Mary Battle at

June 14th Conference Workshop Options include:
“Giving Voice to Long-Silenced Millions: Interpreting Slavery on Historic Sites,” 9 am-5 pm
Led by: Kristin Gallas, Tracing Center, Author of Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites

“Facilitated Dialogue on Social Justice and Public History,” 9am-5 pm
Led by: Braden Paynter, The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

“Historical Documentation and the African American Experience,” 9 am-12 pm
Led by: Miranda Mims and Steven G. Fullwood, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Friday, December 02, 2016

This Weekend: The National Museum of the American Indian 2016 Native Art Market

Indian Country Today Media Network, December 1, 2016
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is hosting its annual Native Art Market on December 3rd and 4th at its Washington, D.C. and New York City locations. Contemporary and traditional works will be available for purchase. In Washington, the market will be in the Potomac Atrium from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on both days. In New York City, the market will be in the Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Cultures, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.
The work of more than 35 notable Native artists will be featured at each venue and there will be traditional and contemporary jewelry, basketry, paintings, sculpture, beadwork, photography, and fine apparel. Artists were chosen through a competitive process and include jewelry designer Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw Nation), fashion designer Peter Williams (Yupik), painter and illustrator Monte Yellow Bird Sr. (Three Affiliated Tribes).
More here

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Position Announcement: Museum Specialist (Collection Management), National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution

This position is located in the Museum Collections and Operations, National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution (SI). The employee is a highly skilled expert in collections management procedures and protocols and is responsible for the physical care, accountability, processing, and packing of all collections (including loans) located at NMAI-DC.

-Responsible for the safety and maintenance of museum collections items and loans at NMAI-DC.
-Oversees the safe packing, transport, movement, and handling of objects in NMAI custody at NMAI-DC, displaying a knowledge of collections care practices that promote the merging of Native beliefs and protocols for collections care with museum standards of preservation and access.
-Directs staff, contractors, and other authorized individuals in safe handling of objects, the implementation of installation and deinstallation plans, and safe movement of objects. Oversees the work of staff, volunteers, and interns assigned to assist in NMAI-DC exhibits, and evaluates results of assigned tasks.
-Acts as the on-site Registrar serving as primary liaison for the Registration Office and outside lenders regarding materials on loan, the coordination of shipping arrangements, and maintenance of a complete and current inventory of collections in storage and on exhibit.
-Works in cooperation with a number of Smithsonian offices including the National Collections Office, the Office of Protection Services, the Risk Management Office, and several offices within the Smithsonian Facilities including the Office of Facilities Management and Reliability and the Office of Safety, Health, and Environmental Management. May serve on SI wide committees regarding collections management issues. -The incumbent represents the Museum to representatives of the Native American community, tribal officials, other museums and galleries, national and international governments, private foundations or cultural institutions, scholars of all disciplines usually through specialized tours of NMAI-DC.

Job Requirements
Key Requirements
Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
May need to complete a Probationary Period
Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.

Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria: Best Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies above. Better Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies above. Good Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies above to a substantive degree. This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the vacancy questions will not be considered for this position.

Important Note: Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal service or comparable pay band system related to the work of this position. This specialized experience is defined as work in museum registration or museum collections management for the stewardship of museum collections by overseeing the safe packing, transport, movement and handling of museum objects; preparing condition reports for museum objects, and using automated museum information systems.

You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service or comparable pay band system related to the work of this position. This specialized experience is defined as serving as a specialist in museum registration or museum collections management for the stewardship of museum collections by overseeing the safe packing, transport, movement and handling of museum objects; preparing condition reports for museum objects, and using automated museum information systems.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

More here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fellowship Opportunity: The Smithsonian Institution 2017 Fellowship Program

Applications for the 2017 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP) Are Now OPEN. The application deadline is Thursday December 1, 2016.

Upcoming SIFP Application Deadlines (Tentative and Subject to Change):

2017 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program: Thursday December 1, 2016
2018 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program: Friday December 1, 2017
2019 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program: Monday December 3, 2018


The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program  is the Smithsonian Institution’s centrally-funded flagship fellowship program. SI Fellowships are awarded annually to scholars wishing to conduct independent study or research at one or more of the Smithsonian’s 19 units and research centers. These fellowships are offered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships, and are administered under the charter of the Institution, 20 U.S. Code section 41 et seq.


The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program supports independent research and study related to Smithsonian facilities, experts, or collection for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.

Program Description:

Smithsonian Institution Fellows conduct independent study and research related to SI collections, experts, or facilities in cooperation with at least one Smithsonian advisor.
The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program is administered through the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI).
The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program is open to:
  1. Graduate Students
  2. Predoctoral Students
  3. Postdoctoral Researchers and
  4. Senior Researchers
Graduate Student Fellowships
Graduate Student Fellowships are typically 10 weeks in length. Students must be formally enrolled in a graduate program of study at a degree granting institution. Before the appointment begins fellows must still be enrolled and must have completed at least one full time semester or its equivalent. Graduate Student Fellowships are usually intended for students who have not yet been advanced to candidacy if in a doctoral program. Graduate student fellowships are offered for ten weeks and are not available for periods of less or more than ten weeks.
Predoctoral Student Fellowships**
Predoctoral Student Fellowships are typically (pls see below for exceptions) 3 to 12 months in length. Students must be enrolled in a university as a candidate for the Ph.D. or equivalent. By the time the appointment begins the university must approve the undertaking of dissertation research at the Smithsonian Institution and certify that requirements for the doctorate, other than the dissertation, have been met.
Postdoctoral Researcher Fellowships**
Postdoctoral Student Fellowships are typically (pls see below for exceptions) 3 to 12 months in length. The doctorate degree must be completed by the time the fellowship begins.
Senior Researcher Fellowships
Senior Fellowships are typically 3 to 12 months in length. Applicants must have held a Ph.D. or equivalent for at least 7 years.
*Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows with advisors at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) are eligible for extended tenures beyond the 1 year SIFP through the Peter Buck Fellowship Program. Buck fellowships supplement one-year Smithsonian Institution Fellowship (SIFP) awards by one or two years. Buck awards may also include a research allowance for additional year’s study.
*Postdoctoral Fellows with advisors at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) are eligible for extended tenures beyond the 1 year SIFP through STRI’s Earl S. Tupper Fellowship. Tupper fellowships supplement Smithsonian Institution Fellowship (SIFP) awards by one or two years. See Tupper Fellowship for information on how to apply.
Please note, Tupper postdoctoral applicants can also submit a one-year SIFP fellowship.  However, this needs to be a separate application submitted through SOLAA with a separate description and research schedule.
All applicants for SI Fellowships, regardless of academic area, are eligible and automatically considered for the Secretary’s Distinguished Research Fellowship, which provides the awardee with a second year of support.
Stipend Allowances and Taxes:
The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship award amounts are as follows:
Graduate Student Fellowship**: $7000.00 for 10 weeks
Predoctoral Student Fellowship: $32,700 annually; research allowance up to $4,000 total.
Postdoctoral Researcher Fellowship: $48,000 annually; research allowance up to $4,000 total.
Senior Researcher Fellowship: $48,000 annually; research allowance up to $4,000 total.
Fellows in earth/planetary sciences and conservatory sciences are eligible to receive up to $5,000.00 over the amounts above.
**Graduate student fellowships are offered for ten weeks and are not available for periods of less or more than ten weeks.  Research allowances are not offered for graduate student fellowships.
Stipends for all fellowships other than graduate students are pro-rated for periods of less than twelve months.
Smithsonian fellowship stipends are not salary or compensation. They are meant to support study and research during the tenure of the appointment and cannot be issued retroactively.
All funds provided under Smithsonian Institution fellowships, including stipends and research and travel allowances, are subject to tax. Fellows awarded stipends receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations.
In addition to a base stipend, awardees may receive allowances to assist with the fellow’s research related expenses and for temporary relocation to the Smithsonian. The budget for the research allowance should not include costs for relocation to the Smithsonian, which is awarded separately. A maximum research allowance of $4,000 is available. The amount awarded will be determined based upon the budget and justification presented by the applicant.
The Office of Fellowships and Internships cannot provide funds for the travel or living expenses of dependents.
Determination of the fellowship category for which to apply should be based on the anticipated academic level at the time the fellowship would begin.


The program is open to US citizens and Non-US citizens. Applicants whose native language is not English are expected to have the ability to write and converse fluently in English. All application materials must be presented in English (foreign transcripts may be translated, see below).
Past or current fellowship recipients are eligible to apply for another award.
Who is Ineligible?
  • No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a Smithsonian fellowship during the time of his/her employment or contract.
  • A fellowship may not be awarded to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year without the prior approval of the Office of Fellowships (see FAQ below). 

How it Works:

Applicants must propose research that is conducted at the Smithsonian in an area of research outlined in the publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study (SORS). Applicants should contact staff members to help identify potential advisors, determine the feasibility of the proposed research being conducted at the Smithsonian Institution, and the availability of relevant resources such as staff, collections, archives and library materials during the proposed tenure dates. Current Smithsonian research staff members can be found here.
Applications are evaluated and fellows are selected, by scholars in appropriate fields, on the basis of the proposal’s merit, the applicant’s ability to carry out the proposed research and study, the likelihood that the research could be completed in the requested time, and the extent to which the Smithsonian, through its research staff members and resources, could contribute to the proposed research. The number of appointments made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program.
Conditions of Appointment:
  • In submitting an application for a fellowship at the Institution, the applicant does not incur any obligation to accept the appointment if selected.
  • Smithsonian Institution Fellows must begin their fellowship within 1 year from the date of their award letter.
  • The fellowship must be completed within two years of the start date.
  • Appointment periods are in accordance with the applicant’s proposal for the research, unless the length of tenure requested is considered by reviewers to be more than required.
  • In accepting an appointment, the fellow will be expected to devote full time effort to the research proposed and to be in residence at the Smithsonian except for approved absences.
  • Financial support for such purposes as research, travel and equipment may be received from other sources provided that no special demands are made upon the fellow’s time.
  • Permission to receive additional stipend support must be requested in writing from the Office of Fellowships and Internships.
Use of Smithsonian Facilities:
Fellows will be assigned to a particular unit or department based upon the proposed primary advisor and research topic.
  • Fellows will be provided with space to conduct their research within the department in which they are working.
  • Applicants should consult in advance with their proposed advisor(s) regarding the availability of facilities and necessary equipment.
  • The amount of support services available to the fellow will be determined by the workload of the department and the policy of the department chairperson and/or unit director.
  • Fellows have access to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries with privileges which include borrowing library materials, interlibrary loans, intralibrary loans, document delivery, database searching, and reference assistance.

How to Apply:

Apply Through: SOLAA
Applications for centrally funded Smithsonian Institution Fellowships are not listed under the museum, research facility or office in which the applicant proposes to conduct research. Applicants for centrally funded Smithsonian Institution Fellowships need to select one of the applications found under the Office of Fellowships in SOLAA.
Applicants who wish to conduct research at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) should go here as SAO application requirements and deadlines may be different.
Applicants who wish to pursue opportunities in art and archaeological conservation, or conduct research and gain further training in Smithsonian conservation laboratories for conservation of objects in museum collections should consider applying for the Smithsonian Postgraduate Fellowship in Conservation of Museum Collections.
Applicants interested in pursuing collaborative resarch in vields involving comparative genomic approaches such as phylogenomics, populations genomics, metagenomics, or transcriptomics with a component that involves significant bioinformatics analysis should consider applying for the Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biodiversity Genomics.
Applicants interested in opportunities to conduct research into visual art that inspireds new artwork should consider applying to the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.
  • Applications must be received no later than 11:59 pm EST on December 1, 2016 via SOLAA
  • You should correspond with your proposed Smithsonian advisor(s) as you prepare your proposal (being sure to discuss potential research costs) with your proposed advisor(s) before submitting your application
  • All application materials must be presented in English (foreign transcripts may be translated)
Once you have created an account and logged into SOLAA you will need to complete all the required information including:
  • Mailing address
  • Academic history
  • Current university or college
  • Identifying the committee you feel is most appropriate to review your proposal. Descriptions of different review committees are offered below.
Please be sure to apply for the correct year program cycle.
The following must be uploaded with your application:
  • No more than one page
Research Proposal
  • The full statement of your research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian
  • Maximum six pages double spaced (not including references)
  • Paper size should be 8.5 by 11 inches (210 mm x 297 mm)
  • 12 point type
In preparing your proposal, be sure to provide and address the following:
  • Methodology
  • The importance of the work both in relation to the broader discipline and to your own scholarly goals
  • Justification for conducting your research at the Smithsonian and utilization of research facilities and resources
  • Identification of the member of the Smithsonian’s research staff who might serve as your principal advisor/host
  • Identification of potential co-advisor(s) and/or consultant(s) if applicable
Time Table
  • Estimate of time period for each phase of the research proposed
  • This needs to be uploaded for the application material name “Other” in SOLAA
  • Applicants should consider the following factors carefully when choosing the dates for the proposed fellowship: academic schedule, completion dates of their preliminary exams, course work, dissertation (if applicable), the schedule of their proposed advisor/host and the availability of required resources
  • The dates of tenure proposed in the application (and any change of dates if the fellowship is awarded) should be selected in agreement with the proposed principal advisor
Budget and Justification
  • Budget and justification for equipment, supplies, research-related travel costs, and other support required to conduct the research itself
  • Do not include stipend and/or relocation costs
  • If the funds exceed the maximum research allowance, please explain the source of additional funds
  • Applicants for graduate student fellowships are not eligible for research and travel allowances and should not submit budget justifications
  • Bibliography of literature relevant to the applicant’s proposed research
Curriculum Vitae
  • Including previous and current fellowships, grants, and/or awards, and a description of your research interests.
  • If English is not your native language, describe the level of your proficiency in reading, conversing, and writing in English
Transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)
  • Transcripts (or other materials when transcripts are not issued) from all appropriate institutions are required except for senior fellowship applications
  • Applicants for graduate student fellowships must submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Applicants for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships need only submit graduate transcripts
  • Senior researchers may provide transcripts, but are not required to do so
  • If transcripts or other materials are not in English the applicant should provide translations
  • Names and email addresses of two persons familiar with your work. Ideally, don’t make your proposed SI advisor one of your referees because they already will have an opportunity to offer feedback about your proposal as part of the application review process
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference
  • Provide a copy of your proposal and a copy of Letter to Reference (downloadable pdf) to your references
  • Through SOLAA you will send an email to these referees so they can provide references through the web
In order to have the greatest impact on a candidate’s application, referees are asked to submit references no later than the application due date. However, references can be included with a candidate’s application packet up to one month after the application due date. Please note that while not having references included with an application does not automatically disqualify an application, the absence of references may weaken a proposal in the eyes of reviewers. 

Selection Criteria:

The complete application will be reviewed by Smithsonian scholars in appropriate fields.  Applications will be evaluated on the following:
  • The proposal’s merit
  • The ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed research and study
  • The extent to which the Smithsonian, through its staff members and resources, can contribute to the proposed research
Notification of decisions will be made no later than Friday 4/7/17. 
The Smithsonian does not discriminate on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, parental status, marital status, sexual orientation, or participation in protected activity (find out more here).

Lecture Opportunity: TODAY at the Harvard Peabody on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 6:00 pm

Exposing Latent Images: Daguerreotypes in the Museum and Beyond
Ilisa Barbash, Curator of Visual Anthropology, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

This year-long lecture series explores the concept of race and the representation of cultures in museums from the perspective of human evolutionary biology, archaeology, social anthropology, and museology. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

AAA 2016: CMA Tour of Minnesota Historical Society & Reception for CMA Members

CMA Members are invited to a behind-the-scenes tour on Wednesday, November 16 of the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) American Indian and Fine Arts Collection to learn about the collections and the Native American Artist-in-Residence Program.

Ben Gessner, Collections Associate and Artist-in-Residence Program Coordinator will be our host. More information about the MNHS and Artist-in-Residence Program below. 

There will be two tours Wednesday, one at 3pm and one at 4pm. Spots are limited. Interested? To sign-up (or if you have any questions), email CMA Secretary, Diana Marsh at

CMA Reception
All CMA Members are invited to a reception at the Minnesota Institute of Art!

Where: Wells Fargo Room, Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Avenue South.
When: Friday, November 18 from 7:45 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Come enjoy drinks and light fare, meet fellow CMA members and Mia’s African and Native American Affinity members.

View extraordinary works of art Mia, and visit with Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, Curator of African Art, and Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Assistant Curator of Native American Art in our African and Native American Galleries.

CMA-sponsored Sessions
Don't forget to check-out CMA-sponsored sessions at this year's meeting. A full listing can be found through AAA here.

Or, see the most recent Anthropology News Section News posting, here.

More information:

About the MNHS:
The Minnesota History Center, the flagship museum of the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is located in St. Paul, MN. The History Center houses more than 2.5 million items ranging in date from ca. 11,500 years ago to today. The Society’s American Indian Collection consists of over 5,000 objects including over 2,000 Ojibwe and approximately 1,000 Dakota artifacts.

MNHS is the state’s largest nonprofit cultural organization, serving more than 985,000 visitors annually; of these, 265,000 are children and youth visiting with their school or families. MNHS is one of the largest state historical organizations in the country. The quality of its exhibits and scholarship has has earned MNHS a reputation as one of the nation’s premier historical organizations.

MNHS’ wide array of educational programs reflects the rich diversity of communities and traditions in Minnesota. The organization’s programs and services tell the story of Minnesota’s past through exhibitions, extensive libraries and collections, 26 historic sites, educational programs, book publishing, the MNHS website, and grants and technical assistance to county and local historical organizations throughout the state.

About the Artist in Residence program:
Meaningful interactions with historic materials provide communities with opportunities for cultural understanding, reflection, strengthening and growth. In some cases, artforms and practices that are lost at a local level are revived through the study of historic material culture in museum collections - these historic resources serve as platforms upon which cultural learning and sharing takes place. The Native American Artist-in-Residence program at the Minnesota Historical Society was designed to foster and support this cultural learning. Residencies are awarded to artists practicing all forms of traditional art, including utilitarian forms, who wish to advance and share this cultural understanding with their communities. Many other efforts are made by the museum to support this program and the goal of creating an accessible and inclusive environment –the development of culturally-specific care plans, the continued digitization of material culture, the revision of repatriation policies, and the creation of on-site digitization events and exhibits in communities.

About the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA):
The MIA inspires wonder with extraordinary exhibitions and one of the finest wide-ranging art collections in the country. From Monet to Matisse, Asian to African, 40,000-year-old artifacts to world-famous masterpieces, Mia links the past to the present and enables global conversations.

Harvard repatriating ancestral human remains from Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

The Midland Daily News
November 10, 2016

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and its Ziibiwing Cultural Society (Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways), in cooperation with five other Authorized Transfer Recipient Tribes, will lead an effort for the disposition of the physical human remains of 98 Native American individuals from Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, Mass.

The other tribes involved include the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians – Gun Lake Tribe, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

The Native American ancestral remains originate from the Michigan counties of Alpena, Berrien, Kent, Newaygo, Saint Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne, as well as one unknown site. Some of the ancestors have been at Harvard University since as early as 1869. The eight Notices of Inventory Completion for the 98 ancestors posted to the Federal Register on Oct. 3.

The Ziibiwing Cultural Society has been working on behalf of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and in cooperation with the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation & Repatriation Alliance, to bring home ancestors and their associated funerary objects from the numerous museums, universities and institutions across the country since the passage of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

More here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Royal Ontario Museum apologizes for racist 1989 African exhibit

The Star, Jackie Hong
November 9, 2016
They waited 27 years for an apology.

And on Wednesday night, the African-Canadians who had decried the Royal Ontario Museum’s 1989-1990 exhibit, Into the Heart of Africa, as racist and demeaning finally got one.

The show featured artifacts taken from the continent by Canadian missionaries and soldiers.

“. . . Into the Heart of Africa perpetuated an atmosphere of racism,” ROM deputy director of collections and research Mark Engstrom said to a crowd of dozens who attended the reconciliation between the museum and the Coalition For the Truth About Africa, who had protested the exhibit in 1989 and 1990.

“The ROM expresses its deep regret for having contributed to anti-African racism. The ROM also officially apologies for the suffering incurred by the members of the African-Canadian community.”

CFTA chief spokesperson Rostant Rico John accepted the apology.

“We want our community to know: the ROM did not slip or slide, nor hide. They came forward and showed themselves and worked with us,” John said, explaining that the reconciliation process began back in 2014.

“. . . I would like to formally accept, on behalf of the African community in Canada here, the apology of the ROM,” he said to applause and cheers.

The event, which opened with a Ghanian priest in traditional robes performing a group prayer, also saw speeches from CFTA members Afua Cooper and Yaw Akyeaw, who flew in from Ghana, where they recalled protesting Into the Heart of Africa outside the museum and the hardships demonstrators faced when they spoke out about the exhibit, including arrests and racism.

Both accepted the ROM’s apology and commended the museum’s effort in righting a wrong.

The event also gave a peek into what was to come; ROM director and CEO Josh Basseches said that over the next five years, the museum was committing to several initiatives to improve its relationship with the African-Canadian community, including introducing two internships for black youth interested in museums and creating more programs that focus on African or diaspora themes.

The ROM will also mount a “major exhibition,” planned for 2018, that “addresses the exclusion of blackness from mainstream Canadian historic narrative” through the work of seven contemporary black artists, Basseches added.

More here.