Keynote Address: Dr. Amy Lonetree

Dr. Amy Lonetree* delivered a public keynote address for the Decolonizing Curatorial Pedagogies workshop. More than 150 people attended. Titled “Indigenizing Museums and the Move Toward Decolonization: Successes and Ongoing Challenges,” her address examines the current state of contemporary exhibition practice with, by, and for Native Americans at both national and tribal museums. Central to Dr. Lonetree’s analysis was exploring how museums can serve as sites of decolonization by privileging Indigenous knowledge and worldview, challenging the stereotypical representations of Native people produced in the past, and discussing the hard truths of colonization in exhibitions in an effort to promote healing and understanding. For Lonetree, addressing this history is an important part of a decolonizing museum practice, and her keynote explored how we can extend our understanding of the potential of museums to be “sites of conscience” and forums to address difficult knowledges.

For the transcript of this video, click here.


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*Click here for Dr. Lonetree's biographical note...

*Dr. Amy Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of Ho-Chunk Nation and is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. Her scholarly work focuses on the representation of Native American history and memory in national and tribal museums, and she has conducted research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the British Museum, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Minnesota, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Michigan. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). She is currently working on a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation from 1879-1960.

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