Achieving meaningful collaborations

In the second workshop of the Preserving the Past Together Seminar Series, there were presentations separated by break out sessions. What stood out to me was the conversations that we had during the break out sessions. I was in a group with several people that worked for tribes, people that worked for the state in planning, heritage managers and a few others. I believe we were all there with a similar vision in mind for the future; restoring sovereignty and authority to indigenous peoples in respect to their cultural heritage, acknowledging the fact that colonialism has never ended. However the perspectives and attitudes of all the individuals participating was vastly varied. The students in the group were excited and optimistic that we were having these discussions and we were focusing on these topics in our classes. While many individuals working for the tribe seemed to share optimism with the students, they were the first ones to point out that they are still felt very helpless when it came to working with people outside the tribe, weather it be firms or universities. They pointed out that they could create barriers for outsiders to pass, but they could not stop any work from being done on tribal related cultural property, it would be done eventually – no matter what. While this was a bit disheartening to hear, it is a sign that there is still a long road ahead of us to refining and strengthening this collaborative system. From my own experience in our educational system I feel confident that the future will bring stronger relationships and more care for the culture of those around us. It is exciting to be alive during a critical turning point for cultural preservation in north america and to be part of these invaluable discussions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *