UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

A Partnership of Peoples Vice President Research and International, Office of the 2009-11-30

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null FAnullnullnullnullnullnullR nullnullnullA nullUnullE nullnullOnullnullRnullnullRnullINnullINDInullNnullnullIDnullNnullInullForget what you may have heard about anthropology: it is not solely a science of lost cultures, dusty relics and ancient peoples. This widely misunderstood discipline provides a critical link to contemporary history, and its contributions to preserving and advancing culture cannot be understated – especially in nations as diverse as Canada. That’s why, for the past 60 years, the nulluseum of nullthropology nullnullnull at nullC has been building relationships with nullndigenous communities and working closely with them on cultural renewal pronullcts. nullnlike other museums, we have always tried to democratinulle our practice, and work directly with communities to represent communities and let communities represent themselves,nullsays nullthony nullhelton, nullirector of nullnull who for more than nulle years has overseen a nullnullnullmillion renewal of the nulluseum entitled A Partnership of Peoples. nulle nullartnership brings together, strengthens and consolidates some of the research that we’ve been doing for a very long time.nullrecinullocal research The nullenewal nullronullct focuses on four areas of research including visual culture, museum studies, language and new technology. nullhowcasing the best of new technology, nullnullhas partnered with three nullirst nullations groups – nulltnulllnullnullation, nullnullista Cultural nullociety in nullert nullay, and nullusnulleam nullndian nulland – to conullevelop the nulleciprocal nullesearch nulletwork nullnullnull a revolutionary nullebnullased network connecting the northwest collections of null partner organinulltions, including the nullmithsonian nullnstitution in the nullnull, and nullford and Cambridge in nullngland. nullroviding online access to the collections enables nullndigenous communities to both restore and strengthen their cultural The nulluseum of nullthropology at nullC has built successful  relationships with nullndigenous communities around the world. nullts soonnullonulle  completed renewal pronullct enullemplinulls this collaborative spirit.A PArtnershiP of PeoPlesnullnull  nullnullnull Rnullnull OF nullnullnullnullnullnull nullnullA nullOFFnullnull OF nullnull Vnullnull PRnullnullDnullnullRnullnullnullARnull nullnullnullnullnullRnullAnullOnullAnullnullRnullnullRnullINnullINDInullNnullnullIDnullNnullInullnullA nullUnullE nullnullOnull7 FAnullnullnullnullnullnullR nullnullnullA nullUnullE nullnullOnullnullRnullnullRnullINnullINDInullNnullnullIDnullNnullInullidentity. nullor many nullboriginal communities, this is the nullst time they will see materials and obnullcts that were previously scattered in museums across Canada and the world, rendering them unknown and inaccessible to the communities that created them. nulle nullnullprovides a mechanism to digitally repatriate nullndigenous collections and archives,nullsays nullhelton, who notes that instead of physically removing material from the place, electronic versions can be created that provide an active resource in the nulletwork’s database. nullis will create,  over time, a dinullrent arena in which researchers and people in the originating communities interact.nullPresernullng nullnguagenullven before the development of the nullnulldatabase, nullhelton believes that nullnullhas been a pioneer in transforming research patterns, forging new relationships between researchers and universities, and between museums and the originating communities. nullor enullmple, the disappearance of nullndigenous languages up and down the  nullC. coast has long been a concern to communities and researchers at nullC  and elsewhere.The fragility of language challenges the very notion of conserving oral history, but nullC and nullnullare doing their part in keeping nullndigenous language alive. The renewal pronullct houses new recording studios and sound booths that will be a useful resource for both nullndigenous communities and researchers. nullnull has a number of pronullcts, a number of dinullrent courses on dinullrent nullboriginal languages,nullsays nullhelton. nullonsenullently, nullC course leaders would be able to use nullnullfacilities to teach and do research on these languages.null nullnumber of nullndigenous communities have used the sound booths to discuss their thoughts on nullnull’s collections. nullith permission, nullnullhas recorded these conversations as a way to aid communities to renullncounter parts of their own culture and also as an archive for future generations. nulln terms of the nulluseum itself, we can start recording nullndigenous language terms for our collections,nullnullhelton says. nullnulle can look at the ethnonullinguistic classinullation of obnullcts, which can open whole semantic universes of which they are a part. nulle haven’t been able to do this before.nullrenulltriating nullonulledgeThe decoloninulltion of knowledge is something nullhelton hopes the museum will start to achieve as it becomes a resource for nullndigenous communities. nullo this end, a new hybrid space within the nulluseum houses the multiversity galleries. nullome null,000 obnullcts in the collection that were previously dinullult to view, along with their interpretations, will now be optimally presented for the public. The interpretations are a product of the nulluseum’s collaboration between curators and communities, which nullhelton says has generated a new thesaurus of criteria based on community preference rather than museological dictates. nullltimately, the nulluseum’s relationship to nullndigenous cultures has three dimensions: an academic dimension based on research and teachingnulla community dimension structured around social and communitynullbased issues and research pronullctsnulland a public dimension as nullestern Canada’s premier museum of global arts and cultures.nulluseum enullibitions serve to engage the public, provide a platform for teaching, and inspire new research nullestions. nullhelton is connullent the nullartnership of nulleoples pronullct will enable nullnullto continue its important work as a leader in anthropological research and a showcase for living history and contemporary culture. The nulluseum of nullthropology nullnullnull at nullC is Canada’s largest teaching museum. nullt is renowned for its enullensive nullorthwest Coast collection and its commitment to providing collaborative insight into nullndigenous cultures around the globe.   nullnullartnership of nulleoples has received funding from the Canada nulloundation of nullnnovation, the nullovernment of nullritish Columbia, nulloerner nulloundation and additional support from nullC.nullnull  nullnullnull Rnullnull OF nullnullnullnullnullnull nullnullA nullOFFnullnull OF nullnull Vnullnull PRnullnullDnullnullRnullnullnullARnull nullnullnullnullnullRnullAnullOnullAnullnullRnullnullRnullINnullINDInullNnullnullIDnullNnullInullnullA nullUnullE nullnullOnullnull  A view of nullurnour nullland, ancestral  home of the nulllowitsis nulltionnull  Elder from nulllowitsis community demonstrates  the traditional way to cut nullhnull Artifacts on display at the nullseum of Anthropologynull nullnulllo woman with a cedar basnulletnullnullnullnullPhotos >: 1 and 2. John Cornullttnullnull nullldornullnull Ronullal British Columnulla nullseum 


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