Museology Master of Arts Program

October 17, 2019

Including Indigenous Voices in Local History Museums

Master’s Project by Andrew Jessica (2019)

In recent years, the field of Museology has seen a major push for museums to decolonize and create more inclusive and collaborative narratives. While the literature offers some guidance on how museums can better display indigenous objects, there are not many examples of collaboration between small history museums and indigenous communities nor are there many examples of indigenous voices being included in local history museums. This project therefore aimed to use decolonizing guidelines from the field in order to address the lack of diversity in the stories that local history museums tell. Through research and relationship development with key stakeholders at the Tolt Historical Society and the Snoqualmie Tribe, a series of guidelines were produced to help the Tolt Historical Society and other similar institutions in the area to begin collaborative relationships with the Snoqualmie Tribe and create displays that include Snoqualmie perspectives on their own cultural heritage. This project is a step towards bringing a greater awareness of decolonizing practices into small historical institutions.

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Citation: 

Andrew, J. (2019). Including Indigenous Voices in Local History Museums. Unpublished master’s project, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.