NACR Silent Auction

The NACR will hold a silent auction on Thursday, April 26, at Northwest Archivists 2018. The initial $100 will reimburse fund raising for this year’s salmon bake. The remainder will support the scholarship fund and a networking / membership drive event at NWA 2019. The items available at this year’s auction include:

Book basket
Museum travel mugs
Warm Springs gift basket
Earrings
Necklace
Bone and bead necklace
Wine tasting gift certificate
Bottle of wine w/ Cougar Gold cheese gift card
Cedar bark hat
Weaved basket with weaved cedar flowers
Painted Pony espresso gift set
Tumbler set
Set of 10 beaded necklaces
Scrapbook kit (courtesy of Hollinger Metaledge)

If you’d like to participate, please bring your checkbook!

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Bingo at sbingo@ewu.edu.

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NWA Conference 2017 Scholarship Awardee – Josiah Pinkham

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My name is Josiah Blackeagle Pinkham and I am a member of the Nez Perce Tribe. I was raised on my reservation in North Central Idaho and still reside near the community in which I was raised. I also work for my tribe in the Cultural Resource Program conducting preservation oriented tasks. I am presently a Cultural Specialist and digital preservation is one of my more recent interests after having dealt with a multitude of digital collections on research trips. I have also participated in a month long training at Washington State University (four weeks dispersed over a year long period) in the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC).  It is through the CDSC training opportunity that I have become more familiar with the digital preservation.

I was able to participate in the 2017 Northwest Archivists Conference in Boise, Idaho because of the Native American Collections Roundtable Conference Scholarship. I have to express my appreciation to Steve Bingo for bringing this important opportunity to my attention and for urging involvement. After reflecting on the experience, there was mutual benefit in that I learned about many important issues in the realm of archival disciplines and I was able to network with many individuals. The potential for future relationships and support is invaluable. I would also like to extend another note of appreciation to the Northwest Archivists for initiating this unique outreach opportunity to Native American tribes and organizations to participate in the Northwest Archivists Conference. I would not have been able to participate without it.

I have mentioned that my opportunity for networking and relationship building was an important aspect of my trip. I am thankful for that as well as being able to provide input to others. I also support providing the opportunity to hear the tribal voice, and Northwest Archivists’ tribal scholarship initiative expresses how important this is to the organization. This initiative allowed me to express how the archival discipline is important to me both professionally and personally. Professionally there is also a lot of overlap in how we approach the archival discipline. Among many things, we have a mutual respect for best practices and the desire for long-term access to knowledge. Yet, there are aspects of the work that are a little different because of the unique nature of tribal knowledge. Tribal knowledge in archival repositories does have an esoteric tendency to it that deserves attention. NWA’s initiative to empower tribal voices in the management of this knowledge is both felt and commended.

The role of archival practices in my personal life is more difficult to articulate. There is much tribal knowledge in archival repositories, and it takes familiar minds to manage it wisely because its true life and home is in the exchange between the appropriate people. My people are connected to our landscape when the appropriate stories are told about it. These stories vivify our landscape and make it sacred. Story and language give meaning to even the most simple motions of life. In my experience, this meaning can be found in archival repositories and revived. In some way, our elders saw that they were committing this knowledge to a grave by allowing it to be “written down,” “documented,” “recorded” because its true life is in movement from one mind to another, but to me the best way to describe it is dormant. In order to wake these collections up again we must surround them with the appropriate minds who know how to manage collections in the right ways. Even though here are definite challenges in this realm, there must be a balance between best practices, long-term storage and appropriate access. So far, Northwest Archivists is blazing the trail toward this place of mutual respect for Native American collections by empowering the native voice in affairs that affect these types of collections. Thank you NWA!

Josiah Pinkham, NACR Scholarship Awardee 2017

NWA Conference 2017 Scholarship Awardee – Shannon Kravitz

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Hello to all, again! I can’t state enough how grateful and honored I have been to receive the Native American Collections Roundtable scholarship for the second year in a row. With the assistance of this scholarship, a colleague and I were able to attend, engage, and learn from fellow archivists within the region (and some a bit further away), revitalizing our passion for the work we do.

Last year was the first NWA conference for me, and it’s always somewhat intimidating to begin the journey. But with experience comes confidence, and this year definitely forced me to step outside the boundaries of my own professional comfort and participate more actively, particularly with the Native American Collections Roundtable during the presentation.

As heard and lived, the archives and cultural heritage preservation profession is isolated; we’re often working as “lone arrangers” or somehow tied into existing programs and departments that may not wholly understand the requirements, obligations, and sometimes, the overall importance of our work. Through attendance, networking, and presentations, I was comforted to not only hear similar sentiments, but to be inspired by those that have overcome these communication obstacles and successfully advocated for their programs. It truly revitalized me, and continues to inspire my actions in working diligently to remain relevant to the community of which I serve.

In addition, and recognizing that each of our institutions are unique in and of themselves, tribal organizations have added layers of complexity under which they function. In my experience, conferences and sessions don’t fully, if at all, navigate these complexities. With that said, I was thoroughly impressed with the inclusion of the panel, “Sustaining Native American Culture in the Digital Age: A Discussion of Digital Projects in the Northwest.” All of the presenters and the tribes they work under are handling their projects in ways that fit their institutions and follow standards, yet remain culturally sensitive to their respective tribal communities – something we all should work to achieve.

I was also excited to hear of the efforts taken by two UNLV archival staff to consider and apply tribal names and titles with accordance to tribal preferences during “Context is Everything: Archival Authority Records.” There are past and current initiatives by many tribes to reclaim traditional names, or reassert names that have gone previously unacknowledged by “institutions of power,” and in my opinion this is one starting point at which those within the archives profession can assist and advocate on behalf of tribes within the very institutions that maintain and share our valuable collections.

Lastly, during my Roundtable presentation I mentioned – nearly every thirty seconds – the value of professional development opportunities and staff capacity building, and I can’t stress enough the importance of including SAA certification courses within the conference. With common obstacles such as location, proximity, and financial resources, many of our training opportunities are limited to online webinars and independent research, as well as the occasional conferences that come through our area. However, taking into consideration the current professional landscape of archival work and the large movement to transition or incorporate digital records and repositories into our daily work, we all need to remain up to date on practices and standards as they apply to our institutions. This conference provides one of few opportunities for live trainings, with instructors available to aid our understanding of the daunting challenges ahead, and for this I’m grateful.

I hope the conference season has been exceptional for all those able to participate, and I look forward to continued participation with the Native American Collections Roundtable. Thank you, again, for this great opportunity.

Shannon Kravitz, NACR Scholarship Awardee 2017

Roundtable Agenda for NWA/CIMA Conference

The agenda for Roundtable meeting is now up. This year’s meeting will be held in Boise at 4:30 in Boise, ID at the joint conference for the Northwest Archivists and Conference of Intermountain Archivists meeting.  We will host presentations by past scholarship awardees and a proposal to support internships at Native American cultural heritage institutions. Click the link below for the full agenda.

2017 Roundtable Agenda

The Nez Perce Music Archive Now Digitized

 

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Left to Right: Caleb Carter, Sam Slickpoo, David Isaac, Johnnie Woods, Martin Seth, and Samuel Tilden. The photograph was taken 29 July 1951.

“The music in the Nez Perce Music Archive]  indicates in a subtle way the external influences impinging upon Nez Perce culture over the stressful years of acculturation and shows how artistic elements survive by changing their function in a changing environment.”

–Loran Olsen, Guide to the Nez Perce Music Archive, 1989

The Nez Perce Music Archive, which consists of over 600 recordings, has been fully digitized and will eventually be made available online by the Nez Perce National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park Service (NPS). Beth Erdey, Archivist and Research Center Director at the park, is overseeing this project supported by National Park Service funding. George Blood Audio of Philadelphia, under contract with NPS, digitized the recordings into access copies and preservation masters, complete with embedded metadata for each recording.

The Nez Perce Music Archive (NPMA) contains songs, as well as some speeches and legends, that preserve the rich history and culture of the Nez Perce. Originally recorded between 1894-1974 on a variety of formats, the archive was initially published on a series of audio cassettes in 1989 and includes songs and narratives from Sol Webb, Sam Morris, Elizabeth Wilson, Oscar Broncheau, and many others. Music from the collection has appeared in documentaries and published as smaller compilations including The Nez Perce Music Archive: The Sam Morris Collection and Qillóowawya: Hitting the Rawhide: Serenade Songs from the Nez Perce Musical Archive.

The NPMA was collected by Washington State University ethnomusicologist Loran Olsen and loaned to Washington State University Libraries in 2011. In 2014, the archive was transferred to the NPS and is currently managed by the Nez Perce National Historical Park. More information about the collection may be found in this brief guide to the collection or by contacting Beth Erdey at the National Historical Park.

NWA Conference 2016 Scholarship Awardee ~ Shannon Kravitz

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Hello to all, and I hope everyone’s conference season is off to a great start. As Interim Program Manager for the Nisqually Tribe Archives, it is with great appreciation and honor that I was selected as a recipient for the Native American Collections Round Table scholarship.

As a newbie to the profession – graduated from San Jose State University through the IMLS-funded Circle of Learning project – it’s critical to maintain and build networks within and among tribes and those professionals working, struggling and accomplishing similar (or inspiring) goals.

With that said, one of the most important takeaways from attendance at conferences such as NWA Seattle is the meeting and conversations that take place with other professionals working for information institutions that handle and protect tribal historical artifacts and information. Oftentimes as archivists, we are so isolated from each other due to the lack of tribal archivists in the profession, and due to the specific knowledge, protocols and restrictions required when processing each individual tribe’s materials (as compared to larger, public institutions). Conferences, and more specifically Round Table meetings, provide a sound board for all of us to discuss obstacles and achievements, as well as to provide ideas and solutions for our fellow professionals.

These discussions, whether annually, biannually, or once in a blue moon, have become integral to the assessment of my work, and often renew my passion for archives. Without the knowledge of current issues in Indian Country, as well as current endeavors, I feel lost without a map. It’s discussions among us all that help to guide me as I continue to build upon the Tribal Archives here in Nisqually.

Aside from the Round Table meeting, there was one conference session in particular that has stuck with me and continues to influence my professional work ethic. The presenters were all from Washington State Archives and the session was titled “Working in Harmony: Multi-Disciplinary Team Skills in the Digital Archive World.” Beyond the professional communication skills required when working with teams and fellow staff members, the importance of understanding each others work cultures and values was addressed. At one point, an example was brought up discussing the emotional response that can take place when handling sensitive materials, particularly images and photographs, and how that emotional response varies among staff as individuals.

As relevant as this session was for me at the moment, I truly believe this issue needs to be more widely addressed, especially among tribal archives and archivists working within their own tribes. As tribal people, we often find that the objectivity required for standard archival processing is directly affected by the materials we steward. This is not a job you can necessarily “leave at work,” as the images, information, and sometimes voices (oral histories, interviews) of our ancestors, grandparents, and families invoke past memories and feelings, which can be an emotional experience in and of itself. As professionals, we need to keep these situations in mind when establishing and maintaining our working relationships and protocols, and when assigning workflows and timelines.

Although the conference was shorter than I would have liked, the content of the sessions as well as the discussions brought forth by individuals and organizations truly keep me going and inspired in this field, where professional isolation and overall relevance can often leave an archivist burnt out and unfulfilled. I appreciate the time, effort, and financial support of those in the NACRT for reaching out and making sure I applied, and would like to thank all those that welcomed me during the conference.

Shannon Kravitz, NACR Scholarship Awardee 2016