Engaging Tribal Relations and Tribal Collections

Author(s): Alyce Sadongei

Year: 2017


The use of museum collections by tribal researchers began as a result of cultural and political efforts. The combined movement of cultural resurgence and political expression culminated in the passage of NAGPRA which provided entrée for a variety of tribal researchers and practitioners to engage with cultural objects and archival information. Since the passage of NAGPRA, tribal researchers have primarily been focused on the eligible categories of museum collections for repatriation. However, museum collections have increasingly been used to re-enforce cultural identity by validating tribal memory of emergence, replication of cultural items and revitalizing Native languages. Thus museum collections as a source of cultural information have gained in importance for tribal communities. Access and use of museum collections by tribal researchers requires navigation and negotiation of western museum standards for collections management. This presentation will discuss how tribal researchers are using museum collections to further community goals of cultural maintenance and survival while offering a glimpse of how tribal nations respond to standard museum collections care. By understanding the subtle complexities that tribal researchers face when engaging with museum collections non-tribal museum curators and other professionals will increase their ability to facilitate mutually beneficial collection based research visits.

Cite this Record

Engaging Tribal Relations and Tribal Collections. Alyce Sadongei. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431457)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15968