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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Foreword by Ricardo L. Punzalan

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. An e-book edition of the text will be available shortly after the print edition is published.

Series Introduction
Foreword by Ricardo L. Punzalan

Chapter 1    Recognizing Colonial Frameworks

  • Colonial Archives in the United States
  • Colonial Archives in Canada
  • Colonial Archives in Australia
  • Colonial Archives in New Zealand
  • Moving Away from Colonial Archives

Chapter 2    Archives and Cultural Protocols 

  • UNDRIP and Archival Practice
  • Protocols in the United States
  • Protocols in Canada
  • Protocols in Australia
  • New Zealand Protocols
  • Protocols in Practice

Chapter 3    Challenging Original Order and Provenance 

  • Indigenous Provenance in the United States
  • Indigenous Provenance in Canada
  • Indigenous Provenance in Australia 
  • Indigenous Provenance in New Zealand 
  • Digital Approaches to Provenance

Chapter 4    Community-Based Archival Description

  • American Participatory Description and Community Archives
  • Canadian Participatory Description and Indigenous Community Archives
  • Australian Examples of Archival Cocreation and Community Description 
  • The National Library of New Zealand
  • Approaching Decolonizing Description

Chapter 5    Indigenous Archival Futures

  • Areas for Transformation of Archival Practice

About the Authors

Krista McCracken

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 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.”  

Skylee-Storm Hogan-Stacey

Skylee-Storm Hogan-Stacey (They/Them) is a Historian and researcher currently living and working on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabek in Ottawa, Ontario. A descendant of the Mohawk Nation of Kahnawà:ke, Skylee-Storm has explored Indigenous-Crown legal histories, the legacy of Residential Schools, Indigenous stories of resistance, and oral histories of Kahnawà:ke elders. They are interested in community-based and Indigenous archival systems, ownership, and collections access. Skylee-Storm began their work with the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre in 2014 and graduated with a Master of Arts in History from The University of Western Ontario’s Public History Program in 2019. Skylee-Storm works with Know History Historical Services as an Associate in their Ottawa office.