Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums

Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums

by Amy Lonetree

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Museum exhibitions focusing on Native American history have long been curator controlled. However, a shift is occurring, giving Indigenous people a larger role in determining exhibition content. In Decolonizing Museums, Amy Lonetree examines the complexities of these new relationships with an eye toward exploring how museums can grapple with centuries of unresolved trauma as they tell the stories of Native peoples. She investigates how museums can honor an Indigenous worldview and way of knowing, challenge stereotypical representations, and speak the hard truths of colonization within exhibition spaces to address the persistent legacies of historical unresolved grief in Native communities.
Lonetree focuses on the representation of Native Americans in exhibitions at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Minnesota, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Michigan. Drawing on her experiences as an Indigenous scholar and museum professional, Lonetree analyzes exhibition texts and images, records of exhibition development, and interviews with staff members. She addresses historical and contemporary museum practices and charts possible paths for the future curation and presentation of Native lifeways.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807837528
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/19/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 842,232
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Amy Lonetree (Ho-Chunk) is associate professor of American studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and co-editor, with Amanda J. Cobb, of The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations. She is co-author of People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

A Note on Names xxiii

1 Introduction: Native Americans and Museums 1

2 Collaboration Matters: The Minnesota Historical Society, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the Creation of a "Hybrid Tribal Museum" 29

3 Exhibiting Native America at the National Museum of the American Indian: Collaborations and Missed Opportunities 73

4 The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways: Decolonization, Truth Telling, and Addressing Historical Unresolved Grief 123

5 Conclusion: Transforming Museums into "Places that Matter" for Indigenous Peoples 168

Notes 177

Bibliography 191

Index 213

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From the Publisher

A forceful reassessment of museum and curatorial studies. Lonetree steers American art history away from its metropolitan and European underpinnings and encourages essential new directions in indigenous arts theory and practice.—Ned Blackhawk, Yale University

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