Best Article In Indigenous History Prize

I’m honoured and deeply humbled to have won, alongside Madeline Whetung, the Canadian Historical Association Best Article In Indigenous History Prize.

Madeline Whetung’s article “(En)Gendering Shoreline Law: Nishnaabeg Relational Politics Along the Trent Severn Waterway” is a must read. Whetung examines the concept of shoreline law as a means of discussing place-based kinship ties that the Mississaugas hold with water and land and other beings with which they share territory.

My article, “Challenging Colonial Spaces: Reconciliation and Decolonizing Work In Canadian Archives” seeks to highlight existing colonial frameworks within the Canadian archival system and explore the impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on Canadian archival practices.

The article would not have been possible without the guidance of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni, my colleagues at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, and the advice of Skylee-Storm Hogan.

Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

Queer Crafting

Awesome news – Madison Bifano and I recently received a Tegan and Sara Foundation (TSF) grant to support the work of the Queer Making Community Collective.

This TSF community grant will allow us to host virtual queer crafting circles, pay queer crafters/makers located in Northern Ontario, and help buy crafting supplies for those who need them in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario region.

We’ll be hosting virtual crafting circles Wednesdays at 7pm in the month of June. You can follow us on Instagram at QueerMakingCollective to keep up to date with our programming and to join in the conversation.

Breaking Barriers Through Decolonial Community Based Archival Practice

My latest collaboration with Skylee-Storm Hogan is out in the world. We wrote a book chapter, “Breaking Barriers Through Decolonial Community Based Archival Practice” for Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation edited by Mary Kandiuk.

The chapter discusses the work of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) as a way of opposing colonial archival impulses. It focuses on community archival practices, with a look at the work the SRSC has done to engage Survivors and communities in digital spaces.

As always, I’m grateful to for the chance to work with Skylee-Storm on this and the chapter is infinitely stronger because of their efforts and insights.

Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 69: Dated and Racist Language in Archival Descriptions

stack of old papers on left, right side reads "Episode 69: Dated and Racist Language in Archival Descriptions"

It’s been awhile, but I’m back with new podcast content. In today’s episode I’m discussing problematic language in archival descriptions, approaches to handling racist depictions in records, and efforts to update archival practices.

Mentioned in this episode:
-University of Waterloo, Language in Archival Collections
Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia, Anti-Racist Description Resources (PDF)
Gracen Brilmyer, Michelle Caswell, Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy in Archives

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

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Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 68: Pandemic Reading

Who needs a distraction? I do. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading recently. These days, reading is one of the few things that can help push my anxiety to the side and keep my mind busy. In today’s episode I share what I’ve been reading recently and recommend some mind occupying reads.

Mentioned in this episode:
-Claire Hunter, Threads of Life
Allison H. Fischer-Olson, Claire Perrott’ s “The ONWARD Project and Native Voices Interventions in Biased 1930s Archival Collections”
Jon D. Daehnke, . “A Heritage of Reciprocity: Canoe Revitalization, Cultural Resilience, and the Power of Protocol.”
Sue Ferentinos, Ways of Interpreting Queer Pasts
Uncanny Magazine

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

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Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 67: Organizing Blog Theme Weeks

Episode 67 Organizing Blog Theme Weeks

In today’s episode I reflect on the work that goes into organizing blog theme weeks or thematic digital series. I talk about my experiences pulling together theme weeks and provide a roadmap for those interested in organizing one.

Mentioned in this episode:
Active History Material Culture Theme Week
-Edited with Andrea Eidinger, Beyond the Lecture and the Beyond the Lecture ebook
-Edited with Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan and Nicole Belolan Archives Week on History@Work
-Edited with Carly Ciufo, Museums Theme Week on Active History
Archives Theme Week on Active History

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Material Culture Theme Week

This week over on Activehistory.ca we are sharing the Material Culture Theme week I had the joy of editing. This week brings together folks who work with material culture both inside and outside academia.

The week is filled with posts on textiles, learning with material culture, family connections to making, and cultural meaning attached to objects. Go check it out.

A huge thank you to all the contributors and folks who made this week come together. You are awesome.

Crafting Communities Workshop

art studio supplies on shelves

Prior to the world going to hell, I participated in a wonderful six days of professional development put on by Thinking Rock Community Arts and Jumblies Theatre. Titled “Crafting Communities” this workshop was based on Jumblies well-known Artfare Essentials training which is focused on skill building connected to community arts facilitation.

“Crafting Communities” focused on creative facilitation approaches to community arts, with a focus on textile art/craft. The workshop covered the a range of topics including: the basics of what community arts are, different styles of arts based facilitation, how to plan a community arts project, common challenges associated with community arts projects, and potential funding for community arts.

Personally, I loved that much of this content was delivered through active art making and engagement. Instead of simply talking about facilitation techniques we participated in facilitated activities and had conversations while making art.

I also really enjoyed that this workshop helped develop a community of practitioners. It brought together fiber and textile practitioners, folks engaged in music as community arts, and others working on dance, movement, drama, and art based community projects. We had the opportunity to connect with practitioners who live in work in Northern Ontario as well as community arts folks from the Toronto region. This mixture of geographic backgrounds helped fill the workshop with a range of perspectives and experiences.

The next phase of the Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall project includes more of an art and participatory focus. It also includes the development of hands-on workshops for visitors to the site, allowing them to learn about colonization, decolonization, and Residential Schools in a more engaged manner. I’m looking forward to trying and testing out some of the facilitation techniques learned during this workshop in the Reclaiming Shingwauk space.

Photo by Katya Austin on Unsplash

The Covid-19 Chroniclers

Covid 19 logo

I’m participating alongside Andrea Eidinger, Britt Luby, Carolyn Podruchny, and Sarah York-Bertram in a “The Covid-19 Chroniclers” project. This initiative aims to document our experiences working in academia during the era of Covid-19.

We are chronicling our experiences working in academe throughout the coronavirus outbreak. We are writing as support staff, a tenured faculty member, a pre-tenured faculty member, a sessional instructor, and a graduate student. We feel that our personal lives could reveal how privilege in the academy shapes our experiences. We’ll be posting new content daily on the website and hope that chronicling this experience can be useful to reflect on academic life and to build community within academia.

Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 66: Don’t Throw Out That VCR

Stack of VHS tapes on left of image, right reads Episode 66 Don't Throw Our That VCR

In today’s episode I’m talking about digitization of VHS tapes, digital preservation, and my recent trials and tribulations of using VCRs. I chat about the labour intensive work behind digitization and the challenges of video preservation. 

Mentioned in this episode:
-Samantha Thompson, “Why Don’t Archivists Digitize Everything?
-National Archives, Video Guidance: Playback and Digitization of Materials

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

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