I was fortunate to attend an in-person conversation between two Indigenous scholar-authors, Diane Wilson and Robin Wall Kimmerer, at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium on May 17th, 2022 (Kimmerer and Wilson 2022). In this column, I share part of my reflections and stories as an Indigenous scientist inspired by Robin and Diane’s conversation, specifically Robin’s emphasis on the importance of healing our relationships with the land and nonhuman relatives, and the need for “Re-story-ation” of the land. As I understand it, re-story-ation means to return our stories to the land and to remember how to hear the stories the land tells…
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This fall, I asked these fellows to contribute to this In Review column for Open Rivers by sharing what they are currently reading and why it matters to them. Their responses, like our meetings, offer a robust and varied collection of resources that will, I hope, enrich your own reading lists. Enjoy…
Minnesotans love boats, and canoes are a particular favorite. The state has the highest per capita rate of recreational boat ownership in the nation, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Consequently, the current exhibit, Why Canoes? Capacious Vessels and Indigenous Future of Minnesota’s Peoples and Places, at the Northrop Gallery should find an interested audience. The exhibit reflects the desire of three Indigenous peoples—Dakota, Anishinaabe, and Micronesian—to revitalize their canoe-building traditions, and to pass them on to the next generation.
For the past century, the curator has been the deciding factor in what is shown by museums and galleries, reassuring audiences of the importance of what they are seeing. While acknowledging other commercial and audience drivers, the centrality of curatorial decision-making has been sacrosanct.
But when the curatorial team from the Art Gallery of Western Australia embarked on an epic quest to document the art of the Kimberley region in the state’s north west, they abandoned this idea of a single authorial voice in favor of a new model of partnership and exchange.