Knowledge Within: Treasures of the Northwest Coast


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Knowledge Within: Treasures of the Northwest Coast looks into seventeen of the numerous sites in the Pacific Northwest region with major collections of Northwest Coast material culture, bringing attention to a wide range of approaches to caring for and exhibiting such treasures. Each chapter is written by one or more people who work or worked in the organization they write about. Each chapter takes a different approach to the invitation to reflect upon their institution: some narrate a history of the institution, some focus on particular pieces in the collection, and some consider the significance of the work currently being done for the present and future. They do more than fill in the gaps and background of an already existing discussion. They show that these are places and moments in a much longer story, still ongoing, with many characters – individuals, institutions, communities, artworks, treasures – on different, although often parallel or intersecting, journeys.

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May 2022, HC, 192 pages

ISBN 9781773270999

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Curated by:

Pam Brown is of Heiltsuk and Kitasoo ancestry. She is an anthropologist and worked as Urban Indigenous Liaison and Curator, Pacific Northwest at the UBC Museum of Anthropology for twenty-six years. With Jill Baird she co-curated the exhibition Culture at the Centre (2018), the first of its kind, where five First Nations cultural centres came together to share their knowledge in a mainstream museum.

Jisgang Nika Collison belongs to the Kaay’ahl Laanas of the Haida Nation. She is Executive Director and Curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay and has worked in the field of Haida language arts and culture for over two decades. Deeply committed to reconciliation, she is a senior repatriation negotiator for her Nation, pursuing reparation and relationships with mainstream museums on a global scale.

Anthony Alan Shelton is Professor of Art History, Visual Arts and Theory at UBC, and from 2004 to 2021 was Director of the Museum of Anthropology. He is the author of many publications, including the three-volume work Writing from Images (2015–2021).

Jodi Simkin began her work in the culture and heritage sector more than thirty years ago through an undergraduate co-op placement at the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park located on the Kamloops Indian Reserve in central BC. Since then, she has devoted her professional life to issues of social justice as both an archeologist and museum professional.


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