After the Inventories: Museums Becoming Stewards

Moderator: Tony Chavarria
Speakers: Dr. Chip Colwell, Dr. Jennifer Kramer, Dr. Joseph Suina

IARC Speaker Series, School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe

Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6:00 pm

It has been twenty-five years since the first inventories, required by the original legislation, began to arrive at tribal government offices. Since then, much has changed and museums are being asked to consider new ways of understanding their collections and role in interpretation, preservation, and general stewardship of this cultural heritage.




Videography by John Sadd



Tony ChavarriaTony ChavarriaPhoto by Will Wilson.Tony ChavarriaPhoto by Will Wilson.Tony Chavarria is the Curator of Ethnology at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe. A member of Santa Clara Pueblo, he served as a Community Liaison and Curator for the inaugural Pueblo exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. He is also an editor of Museum Anthropology.




Chip ColwellChip ColwellPhoto courtesy of Chip Colwell.Chip ColwellPhoto courtesy of Chip Colwell.Dr. Chip Colwell is currently Curator of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He received his PhD from Indiana University and his BA from the University of Arizona, and has held a post-doctoral fellowship with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also on the editorial board of American Antiquity and the International Journal of Cultural Property, and serves on the advisory board of Practicing Anthropology.

Focusing principally on Native American communities in the American Southwest, Dr. Colwell has undertaken a range of studies to examine the role of history—and objects that embody history—in politics, science, landscapes, museums, and heritage sites. He has published dozens of articles and book chapters, and has authored six books and edited three others. His awards include the 2009 National Council on Public History Book Award, the 2009 Gordon R. Willey Prize of the American Anthropological Association, Archaeology Division, and the 2014 Leadership and Innovation Award from the Mountain Plains Museums Association.




Jennifer KramerJennifer KramerPhoto courtesy of Jennifer Kramer.Dr. Jennifer Kramer is Associate Professor of Anthropology and a Curator, Pacific Northwest at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. Her research focuses on Northwest Coast First Nations visual culture and its entanglements with aesthetic valuation, commodification, appropriation, tourism, legal regimes, and museums.

Her current collaborative research involves (re)connecting Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, and Kwakwaka’wakw language speakers, cultural teachers, and artists to their historic material culture in museum collections. She is also a research partner for the SSHRC CURA project “Tshiue-Natuapahtetau/Kigibiwidon: Exploring New Alternatives Concerning the Restitution/Recovery of Indigenous Heritage” with two First Nations in Quebec: the Ilnu of Mashteuiatsh and the Anishinabeg of Kitigan Zibi.




Joseph SuinaJoseph SuinaPhoto courtesy of Joseph Suina.Joseph SuinaPhoto courtesy of Joseph Suina.Dr. Joseph H. Suina is a Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico with 25 years of service. He directed the Institute for American Indian Education at UNM for tribes throughout the Southwest. Dr. Suina’s publications on culture, education, and Native American issues are numerous. As a current member on several boards and committees, he provides a voice for Native people in the areas of health, museums, language retention, sacred sites, economic development and housing. He is an adjunct professor for Colgate University in New York and teaches courses in Native American Studies and education. Dr. Suina has maintained strong ties to Cochiti Pueblo throughout his academic career; he recently completed his third term as governor of the tribe and is a current tribal council member. As an elder for the tribe, he provides guidance in the ways of tradition and culture for his people.

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