Community Collaborations: Alaska Native Artistic Revitalization
With Sven Haakanson (Sugpiaq) and Alfred Naumoff (Sugpiaq)
Sven Haakanson, Curator of Native American Anthropology at Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and Alfred Naumoff, traditional Kayak builder from Kodiak, reflect on ongoing collaborations between museums and Indigenous communities in Alaska. As the jumping off point, they will explore an effort to bring back traditional kayak construction to their community. Many of the culturally relevant fabrication techniques had been lost to Native communities from which they originated. Collaborating with Alfred Naumoff, who is one of the few living traditional kayak makers alive, they will explore how they are collaborating with their community in teaching the next generation about the gathering, curing, processing and making full sized kayaks in their community once again. They started teaching by using model kayaks found in museums across the world. As Haakanson notes, “I have called this repatriating knowledge that was once forgotten and is now being reawakened once again through pieces from the past.”
This event is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is encouraged.
This lecture is the second event in this year’s Indian Arts Research Center Speaker Series.
The School for Advanced Research’s Indian Arts Research Center presents a series of conversations exploring efforts to foster collaboration between museums and communities. Over the years, documents like SAR’s Guidelines for Collaboration have focused on person-to-person collaboration after realizing the critical importance of community input and partnerships within the museum field. This series highlights the history that led to this moment and current innovative partnerships, but also explores the potential of virtual and remote collaboration in the midst or wake of a global pandemic. This series celebrates the successes the field has witnessed as museum professionals, community members, and artists have had to pivot and adapt. In this series, we will hear from presenters who can speak to their experiences of the past year to share what they have learned as well as how they envision future community collaboration and participation in an increasingly digitized field. Learn more about the full series here.