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.

Creation and purpose: A conversation on art created by students at the Shingwauk Residential School

Plant, cup of coffee and a notebook on a table

A conversational piece I wrote with Skylee-Storm Hogan for the Art Libraries Journal is now available.

This piece asks: What are the ethics behind caring, preserving, and displaying artwork created by Residential School Survivors? By looking at sketches and small handicrafts held by the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre this piece examines the possibilities for caring for this unique type of Indigenous artwork in a culturally appropriate and ethical manner.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Doing The Work: From Colonial Pasts to Inclusive Futures

laptop with zoom meeting and mug on a table

The Call for Proposals for the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) 2021 conference is out. This year’s theme is “Doing the Work: From Colonial Pasts to Inclusive Futures” and the CFP is open to submissions of both in-person and virtual presentations.

A huge thank you to the wonderful folks who have agreed to sit on the programme committee with me, I am very excited about this CFP and the potential discussion around the theme.

Proposal submissions are due November 30, 2020. And there is an information session for anyone looking to learn more on Tuesday October 27th from 12:00-1:00pm.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

History@Work Archives Month Series

Wooden stacking dolls wearing masks

This year I was able to work again with Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan Nicole Belolan to edit an Archives Month series for the History@Work blog.

This series looks at the intersection of archives, archivists, and public history in the age of COVID-19 and will be running throughout October as part of Archives Month in the United States. You can see the first post, about navigating a new community during COVID-19, by Hannah O’Daniel McCallon here.

Follow the History@Work blog to see the rest of the posts as they are released throughout October.

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

Where I’ll Virtually Be This Fall

typerwritter with paper saying "Update"

This year seems to be the year for virtual conferences, online professional development, and webinars. In October I’ll be participating and presenting at a number of virtual conferences including:

  • I will be presenting as part of the Canadian Research and Knowledge Network (CRKN) virtual conference. My presentation, ” Community Based Access: Preserving and Sharing Indigenous Archival Materials” will be on October 13th and is part of the access and preservation week. The CRKN conference is completely virtual and free this year.
  • I’m super happy that I get to participate in TESS again this year. This is a fantastic conference and learning opportunity organized by eCampus Ontario. I’m going to be talking about empathy and teaching about the history of Residential Schools in virtual settings. TESS is free and runs from October 20th to 21st.
  • Lastly, Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad and I will be presenting “Reclaiming Shingwauk: Cross-Cultural Learning and Programming” as part of the Ontario Museum Association Annual Conference on October 29, 2020.

What virtual conferences and knowledge sharing opportunities are in your schedule for the fall?

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

That’s My Auntie: Making Accessible Residential School History

two hands passing a black paper heart

This week my colleague Jenna Lemay and I presented “That’s My Auntie: Making Accessible Residential School History” as part of the Maskwacis Cultural College Microlearning Series.

Our webinar focused on specific community digitization and access projects including the Remember the Children project and our recent work with the Shingwauk burial register.

You can view our slides here. Additionally, the session was recorded.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Safe Spaces for LGBTQ2S+ Archivists

rainbow flag colours in water

The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) is hosting a number of virtual safe spaces over the next year, including spaces for LGBTQ2S+ archivists.

These spaces are for LGBTQ2S+ archivists to connect and meet with one another in an informal, participant-driven environment. Folks must identify as LGBTQS+ to participate.

I’m going to be acting as the moderator/facilitator for the LGBTQ2S+ spaces and would love for folks to share this with others who might find the space useful. Registration is required but the space is open to both AAO members and other archives folks.

Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

Planning Digitization Projects for Community Archives

A pile of 35 mm film rolls

This week I presented a webinar on “Planning Digitization Projects for Community Archives” as part of the Maskwacis Cultural College Microlearning Series.

The webinar focused on the basics of setting up, planning, and implementing digitization projects at community archives. It will include how-tos, potential workflows, and best practices for digitization initiatives. I spoke a lot about some of the digitization work at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and share some of the examples of projects we have undertaken.

You can checkout my slides and notes here and you can watch a recording of the session here.

Featured Photo by Andrey Konstantinov on Unsplash

Community Archival Description and Community Access

circle of trees

This week my colleague Jenna Lemay and I presented on “Community Archival Description and Community Access” as part of the Maskwacis Cultural College Microlearning Series.

Our webinar focused on how the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre does archival description and archival access. We provided an overview of the Centre’s approach to both and also discussed specific projects and examples.

You can view our slides here. Additionally, the session and part of the discussion were recorded.

Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash