Community First: Indigenous Community-Based Archival Provenance

My latest article co-written with Skylee-Storm Hogan is out. Titled, “Community First: Indigenous Community-Based Archival Provenance” this article appears in a special issue of Across the Disciplines, focused on unsettling archives.

Here’s the abstract of our article:
Archives contain records that document the lives, cultures, and histories of Indigenous communities that are often organized within a governmental or colonial creation structure. This structure can create barriers to access for Indigenous communities and researchers that depend on those records. This article re-imagines archival methods of organization and proposes archival provenance based on Indigenous community needs and understanding.

Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash

Community Practice & Community Archives at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre

microphone

On November 9th at 2pm ET I’ll presenting “Community Practice & Community Archives at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre” in partnership with the Muslims in Canada Archives (MiCA).

I’m really grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with MiCA and looking forward to the conversation with Moska Rokay as part of the event.

This talk is free to attend and here are the registration details.

Photo by Ilyass SEDDOUG on Unsplash

Residential School Community Archives: Spaces of Trauma and Community Healing

My latest collaboration with Skylee-Storm Hogan, an article titled “Residential School Archives: Spaces of Trauma and Community Healing,” is now available as a pre-print via the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies.

Here’s the abstract:
Colonial archives are sites of trauma, erasure, and grief for many marginalized communities. In Canada the vast majority of archives relating to Indigenous peoples are held by government, church, and non-Indigenous archives. Colonial archives have actively taken Indigenous culture and heritage away from communities and made it inaccessible to those who the records are about.  Many archives containing information relating to Residential Schools have just begun to grapple with the ethical and professional obligations that come from holding records that document colonial violence, abuse, death, and assimilationist practices.

This article explores the practices of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) community archive and the ways in which the SRSC supports community healing and navigates traumatic archival records.   Since its establishment the SRSC archives has been a place of raw emotion and grief, but also a place of tremendous community strength, healing, and resilience. This article will explore the trauma associated with archives of Residential Schools and the ongoing navigation of archival spaces which embody loss and community.

AAO 2021 Virtual Conference

The Archives Association of Ontario is hosting the 2021 Annual Conference virtually from May 11-14, 2021. With the theme of “Doing The Work:  From Colonial Pasts to Inclusive Futures”, the 2021 conference will offer archival workers and allied professionals the opportunity to discuss areas of archival theory and practice that address racism, colonialism, and community centered approaches to history.

I have really loved being part of the conference programme committee this year and I am thrilled to see such an awesome (in my opinion) agenda come together.

Registration for this conference is now open if you’re interested in joining us in May!

Residential School Artwork Conversations

Residential School Artwork Conversations

On February 18th at noon ET Skylee-Storm Hogan and I are going to be talking about artwork made by Residential School students and the implications of sharing this artwork today. Our conversation will be moderated by Maddy Bifano.

This webinar was partly inspired by the article Skylee-Storm and I wrote in 2020 for Art Libraries Journal Creation and Purpose: A Conversation on Art Created by Students at the Shingwauk Residential School,” which was based on some of the artwork held in the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.

You can checkout the Facebook event or join us via Zoom on the 18th.

Reflecting on 2020

2020 made out of black construction paper

Normally, I post a year end recap of what work, projects, and writing I’ve done in the past year. I’ve decided against doing that this year.

I’ve done things that are worth talking about and I’m working on projects that I’m excited about. But 2020 has been hard. The last thing we need right now is an emphasis on productivity and accomplishment.

We need to prioritize wellness, not production. If you survived 2020 that counts. You occasionally put on pants that counts too.

I want to recognize the privilege I hold as a white settler, as someone who has stable housing, and someone who’s job and wage wasn’t impacted by COVID-19. I’ve only been able to engage in so much work this year because of all of the secure position I’m in.

This year has highlighted how important community care and mutual aid can be. I incredible grateful for my support networks, friends, and colleagues who have helped me through this year.

See you in 2021 friends.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Houseplants and Care

Houseplants with a typewritter

I love my outdoor veggie and flower gardens and have been an avid outdoor gardener for years. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that I realized I also love houseplants.

Since March my houseplant collection has grown from a few plants I was given as gifts, to a sprawling set of plants that is in constant need of more space. Most of the plants I have are relatively low maintenance, there are a bunch of slow growers, and very few have bright bold flowers. They are shades of green and goodness.

Caring for these plants has brought me a lot of joy. Watering, tending to their soil and light needs, and simply sitting near them reminds of the importance of tenderness and gentleness.

Right now, in a time where there is a lot of uncertainty and the days are getting darker I need that reminder of kindness and care. There’s an urgency to press forward, to keep producing, and to maintain normalcy. Things aren’t normal. And we need to take additional steps to practice care and gentleness with ourselves and others right now.

Things I’m doing to prioritize care:

  • Taking lunch breaks. This seems simple but is something that often gets pushed to the side in favour of catching up on email or finishing one more task. I’m using breaks to reset and do activities I enjoy.
  • Scheduling breaks between meetings and where possible limiting myself to three virtual meetings a day. This one came out of the day where I had six Zoom meetings and was so exhausted by the end of it.
  • Not answering emails outside of work hours. Again, this one seems simple but is so hard to maintain sometimes – especially when working from home and the divide between work and personal time seems more fluid.
  • Spending time with cats and plants.
  • Making an active effort to engage with friends even when we can’t visit in-person. I miss people and virtual hangouts can help with that.

Photo by Shelby Miller on Unsplash

Grant Writing for Community Archives

Hi friends, I recently did a short presentation on grant writing for community archives, with some tips and best practices for getting started with grant writing in a community context.

If you’re interested in the topic my slides and recoding of the presentation are available. I’m also always happy to chat about grants, it’s something I have a weird love for and really enjoy working on.