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New Encounters: communities, collections and museums conference
Critical issues and ideas about Indigenous communities, historical collections and museums. The international New Encounters conference at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra in March 2016 was structured around the connections between collections and place, and museums and communities – past, present and future.
Associate Professor David Garneau, Fine Arts, University of Regina, Saskatchewan
Métis artist and academic David Garneau’s ‘From artefact necropolis to living rooms: Indigenous and at home in non-colonial museums’, on the importance of First Nation peoples working in museums to influence how they are understood and represented.
Jim Enote, Director, A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Centre, New Mexico
Zuni tribal member and museum director Jim Enote on his life working in cultural heritage in terms of seasons, and the current flowering of ideas and practices planted many years ago.
Dr Jennifer Kramer, Curator of the Pacific Northwest, Museum of Anthropology and Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Jennifer Kramer on ‘Indigenous cultural belongings in the museum and the work of figurative repatriation’, where museums and First Nations peoples work together to share custodianship of cultural materials.
June Oscar AO, CEO, Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre
Bunuba woman and Indigenous leader June Oscar on the new relationship between Indigenous people and museums and the spirit of reconciliation reawakened by equal partnerships in the exchange of historical truths.
Dr Richard West Jr, Professor Paul Tapsell, Dr Dawn Casey, Dr Richard Luarkie and Associate Professor David Garneau with ABC presenter Geraldine Doogue
Distinguished First Nations people from Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia discuss the negotiation between their traditions and their place in the modern world. What role do museums and artefacts have in this negotiation?
Dr Richard West Jr, CEO, Autry Museum of the American West; Founding Director, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Cheyenne Arapaho citizen and museum director Richard West Jr on the impact of repatriation legislation on museums and Native communities in the United States and what that experience suggests for museums in the 21st century.
Dr Mathew Trinca Director, National Museum of Australia
Museum director Mathew Trinca on the strength and potency of objects in the Encounters exhibition, their impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous people today and how museums can empower Indigenous communities to manage collections.
Dr Sandy O’Sullivan, Director of the Centre for Collaborative First Nations’ Research, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Northern Territory
Wiradjuri academic Sandy O’Sullivan on her research into effective representation and engagement of First Peoples in national museums and the difficulties that some museums have with ideas about identity.
Professor Eleanor Bourke and Rodney Carter, Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council members
Wergaia woman Eleanor Bourke and Dja Dja Wurrung man Rodney Carter on the rights and responsibilities of traditional owners in Victoria and the fight for the return of cultural materials including a bark etching on show in Encounters.
Dr Shayne Williams, Language and Culture Consultant, NSW Aboriginal and Education Consultative Group
Dharawal man Shayne Williams on Indigenous peoples and museums working together to advance cultural education for all and overcoming tensions around ownership of cultural artefacts in museums.
Patsy Cameron, artist, writer, Aboriginal Elder and Inaugural member for Tasmania on the National Aboriginal Education Committee
Patsy Cameron grew up on Flinders Island and traces her Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage through her mother’s line to four ancestral grandmothers. She examines JS Prout’s portraits of Aboriginal people at Wybalenna, Flinders Island, in 1845.
Gregory P Lehman, Senior Lecturer, Institute for Koorie Education, Deakin University
A descendant of the Trawulwuy people of Tasmania, Greg gives a history of the visual representation of Tasmanian Aboriginal people by colonial artists and examines JS Prout’s portraits of Aboriginal people at Wybalenna on Flinders Island.