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Indian Arts Research Center Speaker Series

2021 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.

All discussions will be hosted online from 2:00pm – 3:30pm (MST). These events are FREE, but advanced registration is required. Click on individual events for more information and to register to receive the event link.


Nina Sanders Field Museum

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Making Medicine: Apsáalooke Conversations on Land, Water, Culture and Art

with Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke), Ben Pease (Apsáalooke), and Joree La France (Apsáalooke)

Join three Apsáalooke intellectuals in a conversation about the land, water, culture, and art. As a new generation of Indigenous thinkers, scholars, leaders, and artists enter a novel era of worldviews and creation they are faced with the increasing pressure to protect the culture, the community, and most importantly the land. Listen and engage with them as each speaker shares about their work and what it means to give-back, protect, make medicine, and how these values translate to their work with museums and other cultural institutions.

Watch this program on YouTube 

Larger than Memory Heard Museum

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A New Era for Indigenous Art in Museums

with Ian Kuali’i (Kanaka Maoli and Mescalero Apache), Marie Watt (Seneca Nation), and Erin Joyce

In September 2020, Larger than Memory, a groundbreaking exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art opened at the Heard Museum in the midst of the global pandemic. Join curator, Erin Joyce in conversation with featured artists Ian Kuali’i (2019 Dubin fellow) and Marie Watt, as they explore the potential roles of artists in exhibition development and how this type of collaboration can challenge the way that museums function. Speakers will also be asked to consider the impact of the pandemic on the exhibition, and whether their practices will shift to be more virtual moving forward.

Watch this program on YouTube

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

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.”

Watch this program on YouTube 

Patricia Norby_Headshot

Wednesday, March 31, 2021  

Affirming Indigenous Representation: The Future of Native Art and Collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

With keynote speaker Dr. Patricia Norby (Purépecha)

In recent years, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) has committed to expanding its vision for Native American art. That commitment was further affirmed in September 2020 when The Met hired Dr. Patricia Norby as the museum’s first Indigenous curator and first full-time curator of Native American Art in its 150-year history. Dr. Norby previously served as Senior Executive and Assistant Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian-New York, and as Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at The Newberry, in Chicago. Join keynote speaker, Dr. Norby, as she speaks about Indigenous representation at The Met and shares her vision for the future of the museum’s Native art and collections.

Watch on YouTube Here