Indigenous Archives Colloquium

"I have never forgotten his words": Talking about Indigenous Archives was organized by the Institute for the Humanities and held on October 5, 2013. Participants felt the event to be very successful in bringing together those interested in issues raised in the Call for Papers, as well as other topics that built on similar discussion points, methodologies, and research.

The day began with a plenary discussion on the theme of 'Indigenous archives: past, present, future', after a thoughtful introduction by Carl Stone from Migizii Agamik (the Aboriginal Student Centre). Please see the Colloquium Program for details.

Please contact the Institute for the Humanities for information on future events or developments related to this colloquium, and see the CFP below for reference.

This colloquium was organized by the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities with support from the Canada Research Chair in Western Canadian Social History. Thank you to everyone involved.

Call for Papers - CLOSED
"I have never forgotten his words": Talking about Indigenous Archives
A One-Day Colloquium on Saturday October 5, 2013
University of Manitoba

“My father used to say to me, ‘Don’t think you know everything. You will see lots of new things and you will find a place in your mind for them all.’ My father was a very wise man and I have
never forgotten his words.” - William Berens

Indigenous people have maintained their own knowledge systems since time before memory. Innovative, adaptive, relevant, and deeply reflective of the values and needs of their creators, these systems have been challenged by the colonial project and face new challenges and opportunities as technology offers both potential benefits and possible risks.

This one-day colloquium is an invitation for people interested in Indigenous archives from many points on the imaginative and thoughtful compass to come together, to talk, to listen, and to think about Indigenous archives.

Topics might consider the following:

  • What are Indigenous archives? Who can define that? What does the act of defining that say?
  • What has been done in the past to preserve memory and ways of knowing, what is being done today?
  • What are the social, political, and personal stakes embedded in archival traditions and archival innovations?
  • What are the relationships between self-determination and self-determined archiving?
  • Is the media the message?
  • Is it true, as William J. Mitchell noted (quoted by Joan Schwartz: Joan M. Schwartz, “`We make our tools and our tools make us’: Lessons from Photographs from the Practice, Politics and Poetics of Diplomatics,” Archivaria, 40, Fall 1995, pp.40-74.) that "We make our tools and our tools make us"?

We invite abstracts of 250 words from individuals, or in panels of three to four individuals, for presentations on these and related topics. We welcome presenters from all disciplines and members of the public with an interest in Indigenous archiving, past, present, and future, to join us for this engaging one-day Colloquium.

Deadline to submit: Monday August 19, 2013.

Please send your abstract with a short cv to