Knowledge Within: Treasures of the Northwest Coast looks into seventeen of the numerous sites in the Pacific Northwest region with major collections of Northwest Coast material culture, bringing attention to a wide range of approaches to caring for and exhibiting such treasures. Each chapter is written by one or more people who work or worked in the organization they write about. Each chapter takes a different approach to the invitation to reflect upon their institution: some narrate a history of the institution, some focus on particular pieces in the collection, and some consider the significance of the work currently being done for the present and future. They do more than fill in the gaps and background of an already existing discussion. They show that these are places and moments in a much longer story, still ongoing, with many characters - individuals, institutions, communities, artworks, treasures - on different, although often parallel or intersecting, journeys.
Pam Brown is of Heiltsuk and Kitasoo ancestry. Jisgang Nika Collison belongs to the Kaay'ahl Laanas of the Haida Nation. Anthony Alan Shelton is Professor of Art History, Visual Arts and Theory at UBC. Jodi Simkin has devoted her professional life to issues of social justice.