Krista McCracken is an award winning public historian and archivist. They work as a Researcher/Curator at Algoma University’s Arthur A. Wishart Library and Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Métis people. Krista’s research focuses on community archives, Residential Schools, access, and outreach. Krista is an editor of the popular Canadian history website Activehistory.ca. In 2020, they won the best article in Indigenous History prize awarded by the Canadian Historical Association’s Indigenous History Group for their article “Challenging Colonial Spaces: Reconciliation and Decolonizing Work in Canada’s Archives.”
- About the Authors
Providing examples of successful approaches to unsettling Western archival paradigms from Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, this book showcases vital community archival work that will illuminate decolonial archival practices for archivists, curators, heritage practitioners, and others responsible for the stewardship of materials by and about Indigenous communities.
Simply put, decolonial archival practices involve thinking about and consciously changing how historical knowledge is produced, communicated, and preserved. And though it is especially critical that scholars and archivists who work with records by and about Indigenous people critically consider the implications of their work, this perspective is an essential one for all members of the profession. By examining archival practices that push against and actively counter settler colonialism, this book challenges non-Indigenous practitioners to consider constructs of knowledge, which histories we tell, and how the past is presented. Guided by the authors’ incisive synthesis of theory and current practice, readers will learn
- where Western archival practice is situated in relation to the colonial histories of Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and the ways in which archival structures have reinforced colonial relationships;
- a working definition of decolonial archival practice, which is rooted in concepts of community, reciprocity, and a desire to actively resist colonial recordkeeping practices;
- the implications of this approach for policy making, collection development, and arrangement and description;
- methods for reframing or reworking original order and provenance using digital technology, community participation, and removing hierarchical structures in order to meet the needs of Indigenous communities;
- examples of community-driven descriptive practices, in which Indigenous knowledge and languages are infused into archival description at both the fonds and file level;
- how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Protocols for Native American Archival Material, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library and Information Resources Network Protocols, and other cultural stewardship protocols can be implemented within archival practice; and
- more about the relationship building work that settler communities and researchers still need to do, demonstrated using examples of partnerships rooted in Indigenous knowledge structures, kinship ties, and relationships with the land.
Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.