Pictures Bring Us Messages HC

SKU: 0802090060

Alison K. Brown, Laura Peers
Grade Levels:
College, University
Blackfoot, Blood, Plains
Book Type:
University of Toronto Press

Sale price$90.00


Pictures Bring Us Messages (Sinaakssiiksi aohtsimaahpihkookiyaawa): Photographs and Histories from the Kainai Nation is a recent book that contributes to the growing literature about the nature of academic research and how this relates to Indigenous People. This text explores the work of a British woman, Beatrice Blackwood, who took 33 photographs of Kainai people on the Blood Reserve in Alberta during her two-day visit in August 1925. Blackwood was on a two-year study of racial differences and cultural change in North America. As a staff member from Oxford University's Pitt Rivers Museum, Blackwood took the anthropological knowledge of the era and applied this to her photographic study. These 33 photos are the subject of this book. Current staff from Pitt Rivers Museum undertook a collaborative study and repatriation of these photos to the Kainai people. Designing protocol and research methodology that would serve the interests of Pitt River Museum and the First Nation, the scholars brought the photographs to community organizations, individuals, elders and youth for input about the people represented in the images. The authors discuss the scholarship of Beatrice Blackwood, the images and their historical context in Kainai history, the method of collaboration with the Kainai community, reading and analyzing the photographs, and implications for institutions. The importance of bringing the images back to their Kainai home and the significant knowledge gained from this collaboration leads the scholars to conclude that such collaborations are imperative for museums and academic institutions to undertake for the benefit of all parties. The authors include 45 historical photographs including the Blackwood images, the research protocol, some of Blackwood's diary entries, and Kainai reflections on Blackwood's diary entries. Issues such as accessing archival collections, copyright, visual repatriation, collaboration between institutions and First Nations, and permissions are discussed in this text. This is an important work that shows how a beneficial collaboration between museums and Indigenous People can result in additional knowledge for both agencies. A paper edition is also available

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