2015 ATALM Museum Summit: Methodologies to Restore Meaning and Context to Indigenous Objects


In this session, Margaret Bruchac, Associate Professor of the Anthropology Department at University of Pennsylvania, explores how the “On the Wampum Trail” team has conducted interviews and provenance research using restorative methodology that entails, not just the examination of the objects, but close examination of the collecting processes and curatorial practices that influences the distribution, display, and interpretation of Indigenous objects in museum settings. The session concludes with a discussion of curatorial protocols that encourage respectful and productive research with Native communities, leaders, scholars, and artists, resulting in more meaningful connections between Indigenous objects in museums and contemporary Indigenous communities linked to those institutions. This presentation was part of the Museum Summit during the pre-conference activities for the 2015 ATALM annual conference in Washington, DC on September 9, 2015.