Stronger Together: The Potential Collaborative Agency of Historians and Archivists

My latest post written with Andrea Eidinger, “Stronger Together: The Potential Collaborative Agency of Historians and Archivists” can be read over on Activehistory.ca.

The piece looks at the recent dust up around the BC archives closure and the subsequent open letter written by history departments. It argues for historians and archivists working together and listening to each other.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Archives Month Series

pen and a piece of paper

For the second year in a row I will be working with Nicole Belolan and Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan to edit an archives month series for the History@Work blog. It was wonderful working with Nicole and Kristin on the 2019 archives series and I’m looking forward to seeing how the series develops this year.

This year’s series will focus on archival and library practice and labor as well as archives and libraries as public history. Because the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted new challenges surrounding the use and maintenance of archives, the series also welcome pitches from users of archives. 

Pitches are due July 10th and you can see the full CFP here.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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

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

Webinar: Trans and Gender Non-conforming Inclusion in Libraries

Rainbow coloured lights

UPDATE: Registration for this webinar is now full (wow! thanks folks!). If you are interested in receiving a copy of the recording you can email Laura Gariepy at lwgariepy[at]vcu[dot]edu and she will make sure you get access to the recording.

On Thursday February 27, 2020 I’m presenting a free webinar on “Trans and Gender Non-conforming Inclusion in Libraries.”

Sponsored by the ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee this session will provide an overview of a diverse range of gender identities and experiences and best practices for working with transgender colleagues, students, and patrons. Through the sharing of examples, this session will challenge participants to create trans affirming spaces while critically examining library policies, languages, and practices.

Folks can register at: https://www.acrl.ala.org/ULS/trans-and-gender-non-conforming-inclusion-in-libraries/ If you can’t make this session but wish to view a recording later, please register so that you’ll receive an email that includes a link to the video of the presentation.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Organizing Ideas Podcast

Person with headphones against a pink background

I recently had the joy of talking with Allison Jones and Karen Ng of the Organizing Ideas Podcast, a fantastic podcast looking at the relationship between organizing information and community organizing.

We talked about public history, archival process, the need for archives to move away from colonial mindsets, and I gushed about embroidery briefly. You can listen to our conversation in “EP 18 – Public History with Krista McCracken.”

Photo by Elice Moore on Unsplash

Archives Month Series on History@Work

Filing cabinets with archival material.

Over the past couple of months I have been working with  History@Work affiliate editor Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan, and NCPH The Public Historian co-editor/Digital Media Editor Nicole Belolan to help pull together a month long series of posts about of archives and public history.

This series will be published throughout October (Archives Month in the United States). I’m super excited to see these posts go live as they discuss a huge range of archival work, public history work, and community center history making.

The first post in the series, “Fearless Education: Quaker values, collaboration, and democratized access at Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections” by Liz Jones-Minsinger went live this morning. Go read it and keep an eye out for new posts throughout October.

Image credit: By Daaarum – CC BY 3.0

Reclaiming Place Talks

This week I had the privilege of travelling to Thunder Bay to provide a public talk at the Thunder Bay Museum and speak with a Lakehead University archives class. Both talks focused on my work at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and the decades of work by the Shingwauk Survivor community.

Interested in learning more? Check out my slides from my “Reclaiming Place: Community History at the Shingwauk Site” talk at the museum and my more archives focused talk from my visit to Lakehead.

Preserving and Listening to Soundscapes

Closeup of a sound board

The BBC recently ran a podcast series called Forest 404. The podcast is set in a futuristic 24th Century, in a time after a massive data crash and in a era in which forests and much of the natural world no longer exist.

I initially started listening to Forest 404 because the protagonist is voiced by Pearl Mackie, who I loved in Doctor Who. The entire podcast is framed around archived soundscapes from the 21st century (know affectionately as the ‘Old World’ in the podcast).

The main character Pan is essentially a digital archivist who makes decisions about what sounds are worth keeping and which sounds get destroyed from the archive and the world’s memory.

The fact that this entire podcast intersects with climate, archiving, and science fiction make it worth listening to. For me, this podcast also made me think about broader archival efforts to document sounds and soundscapes.

Continue reading Preserving and Listening to Soundscapes