No Sense of the Struggle Creating a Context for Survivance at the nmai sonya atalay Museums, collecting, anthropology, and archaeology were developed within, and are deeply entrenched in, a Western epistemological framework and have histories that are strongly colonial in nature.1 As with most contemporary fields of study, these areas of research and practice are fully steeped in Western ways of knowing, naming, ordering, analyzing, and understanding the world. Indigenous people, both outside and within the academy, along with a number of non-Indigenous scholars globally, have struggled long and hard to bring the Western and colonial nature of these fields to the foreground. They have worked to bring us to the place we are today, where such statements are acknowledged (by most scholars) and where those who want to continue working to change these disciplines in positive ways have a space to do so. The National Museum of the American Indian (nmai) is one of those spaces. The nmai attempts to profoundly change the practice of museology and the role of Indigenous people in museums on a grand scale. In some ways it is successful in its mission, yet other areas leave room for improvement. This piece focuses
The American Indian Quarterly – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 9, 2006
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