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.

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