An Alternate Analysis of Museum Collecting Indigenous Materials: Some Small Measure of Balance

The CMA’s 128-page “Moved to Action” report made extensive recommendations for museum remedial work on relations with Indigenous peoples. This post provides added perspective on the positive outcomes for ongoing Indigenous resistance to the admitted museum colonial assimilationist project, cultural revival, & leading to the renaissance of self-determination.


The extensive & very significant Canadian Museums Association report Moved to Action: Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums A Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #67 by CMA’s Senior Manager, Community Engagement and Indigenous Initiatives, Stephanie Danyluk & Director of Communications Rebecca Mackenzie (2022) alongside the related CMA report’s title proper National Conference held virtually on 27 & 28 February 2023 prompted my thinking & writing about the numerous issues raised. See my response to Moved to Action in Thistle (2023a) that I have forwarded to the CMA. Also consider registering for the 3 May 2023 webinar “Moved to Action: A Workshop on Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums” (Canadian Museums Association 2023).

Your blogger has been attending to museum relations with Indigenous peoples for many years. The first & most relevant input on that subject is my now 44-year-old review of the literature of the day identifying the majority of—& some additional—Indigenous concerns about their relations with museums that have been expressed in Moved to Action & by speakers at the CMA conference. See “Whose Heritage?: The Conflict Between Native People and Museums” (Thistle 1978b [also see Thistle 2003]).

I certainly do support the vast majority of the Moved to Action report’s findings identifying problematic museum relations with Indigenous peoples & I wholeheartedly agree that museum practitioners & their institutions must play a key role in implementing the CMA report’s recommendations. Readers are encouraged to consult Moved to Action (Danyluk & Mackenzie 2022) & for example listen to the interview with outstanding Fisher River Cree Nation artist Kent Monkman (2022: minute 0 to 4:20; cf. Collins 2022). He describes his negative childhood experience with museums & condemns museum exhibits & programmes addressing Indigenous topics for “still lying & leading visitors to ignorance” but—relating directly to my argument in this post—also makes a strong point about his early artistic development through free art classes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Misuse of Museum Indigenous Collections:

There is no denying the multitude of problems outlined in CMA’s Moved to Action. For example, it is now understood that Indigenous ceremonial belongings such as tobacco pipes typically have been exhibited improperly by joining stem & pipe bowl together. Contrary to many Indigenous beliefs & practices, the union of the two elements of ceremonial pipes must happen only in the appropriate ceremonial situations (Thistle 2004: 4).

Typically, Indigenous tobacco pipes have been displayed with the 2 artifact elements joined as shown in a small number of examples below along with one approach to solving this misuse from my own practice at the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Wisconsin. I apologise for the poor quality of the latter images due to a camera light meter problem.

  • mannequin wearing beaded leather shirt offering a tobacco pipe
  • exhibit of 8 plains Indian tobacco pipes
  • exhibit of pipe bowl & long stem separated
  • red "catlinite" elbow pipe bowl & separate stem
  • Red catlinite & green soapstone pipe bowls & stems
  • pipe bowl & separate stems
  • traditional Indigenous tobacco plants
  • Indigenous traditional tobacco plants

Despite such improper use of Indigenous artifacts in museum exhibitions of concern to origin cultures (e.g. Danyluk & MacKenzie 2022: 69, 72 ff.), I believe there are at least some positive outcomes of Indigenous materials held in heritage institutions.

Here, I wish to apply some critical museology [i] to the Moved to Action report. Followers of my Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers blog (Thistle 2012-2022) will not be surprised that one of my main concerns about the CMA report is derived from 32 years of analysing constantly rising—yet entirely unresourced—expectations in the museum industry that exert such strong pressures on workers who love our jobs & are presented with no other option than to over-commit by self-sacrificially overworking to accomplish unrealistic objectives. Stress, emotional, physical, family, & social ill-health—all to the point of practitioner burnout & push-out from the field (Thistle 2023: 1-2, 4-8; Thistle 1990)—are dangerous risks that must be managed much more effectively.

Referring to medical Dr. David Posen’s (2013) book titled Is Work Killing You?, the last statement in my response to the Danyluk & MacKenzie (2022) report is: “I urge the CMA that ‘killing’ museum workers with unrealistic expectations must not be the default means of implementing Moved to Action” (Thistle 2023: 8).

Quite apart from my well-documented concerns (cf. Regan 2021; Willard & Bell 2021: 3, 9, 11, 21-23, 34, passim), I also found that the understandably problem-centred Moved to Action report apparently provides only criticisms of museum collecting of Indigenous belongings (Danyluk & MacKenzie 2022: 12, 41-42, 48, 121 passim; cf. Cole 1995: 170-76, 307-10, passim; Thistle 1996).

In this light, I want to add some small grains of evidence on our topic to the raised light balance beam pan by outlining 5 examples of the positive outcomes of museum collecting that now clearly & undeniably support cultural revival & self-determination for modern Indigenous individuals, communities, & nations (e.g. CBC Radio 2023). For example, refer to the Plains Cree chief (known as a peacekeeper during the Riel Resistance of 1885 conflict in Western Canada) Poundmaker’s belongings that the Royal Ontario Museum repatriated to his descendants in 2023 (Hobson 2023).

Another example is the generous concluding statement of Nuxalk Nation hereditary Chief Snuxyaltwa during a recent interview on the repatriation of a totem pole from the Royal British Columbia Museum to its origin Heiltsuk (Bella Bella) community (CBC Radio 2023: minute 11:45). The Transcript reads:

CHIEF SNUXYALTWA: Okay. Thanks for having me on. And thanks to everyone that’s helping here. And the media is awesome. We’re enjoying telling the world who we are, where we come from and why we’re here on Mother Earth and the continuous reminder. And, you know, we did thank the museum when we were there, the B.C. government for holding on to these items for us. And now we have a chance to go back to find out the true stories of who we are and why we’re here and the real meaning of the totem pole to the nations around the world.(CBC Radio. 2023) [emphasis added].

To be clear about this post, there will be no major shift in the overwhelming weight of negative consequences of colonialist museum collecting for Indigenous peoples & their maintenance of cultural practices but, as all interested parties work together repairing the damage done to Indigenous peoples by museum collecting, I firmly believe we must not forget about the positive impacts of museum collections for current & ongoing Indigenous cultural revival as outlined below.

Bill Reid & Revival of Haida Art Held in Museum Collections:

UPDATE 19 April 2023: Also refer to St. Pierre (2023) “What would Bill Reid think of Northwest Coast art today?: Exhibit explores style’s bright future.”

In the mid-1970s, your blogger, Paul C. Thistle, was teaching high school Native Studies in The Pas, MB, Canada located just south of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Its students were attending my classes. Given a lack of resources on Indigenous cultures & histories (Thistle 1986: ix),[ii] I undertook a curriculum development project during the summer of 1976 by taking a huge figure-8 field trip to photograph Indigenous materials in museums, historic, & active archaeological excavation sites. My travels stretched from Haida Gwaii (then known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) off the Pacific coast of British Columbia to the National Museum of Man [iii] in Ottawa, Ontario. Using the 1,800 images photographed & several more otherwise collected, I was able to create 2 sets of forty 35 mm slide shows on Indigenous cultures & histories with descriptive texts, one set for the senior & another for the junior high school in The Pas (e.g. Thistle 1978a).

When I visited Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, Haida artist Bill Reid happened to be in the very early stage of carving a totem pole that was to be the first one raised in his mother’s home community in over a century (Duffek 1986: iii, 20). [iv] I photographed the carving in process, but did not feel that interrupting the work would be proper for an uninvited visitor, so I did not take the opportunity to speak to Mr. Reid (whose work I admire tremendously) nor to his assistant.

Author’s photographs of Bill Reid Art:

  • beach at Skidegate
  • photo of Skidegate Haida houses & totem poles in 1878
  • totem pole at Skidegate 1976
  • beaver totem pole figure
  • Bill Reid carving totem pole, August 1976
  • Bill Reid carving totem pole with chainsaw
  • Bill Reid cleaning wood chips from totem pole being carved
  • assistant carver working on totem pole figure
  • Haida plank house & totem pole
  • Haida plank house & frontal pole
  • cedar wood sculpture of Raven & the First Men
  • The Raven & the First Men cedar wood sculpture
  • Cast of Bill Reid Mythic Canoe sculpture
  • cast of Bill Reid "Mythic Canoe" sculpture
  • Bill Reid sitting on his the Raven & the First Men sculpture

Here, I want to emphasise the well-documented importance of Bill Reid’s work with museum collections to revitalise Haida carving. See the Bill Reid: Beyond the Essential Form book Foreword comment by Michael Ames, former Director of the University of British Columbia Museum Of Anthropology:

Reid played an instrumental role in the resurgence or “renaissance” of Northwest Coast Indian art, he is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest living native artists, and he ranks among Canada’s most important sculptors, white or Indian (Duffek 1986: iii) [emphasis added].

Others, such as art historian, Burke Memorial Washington State Museum Curator of Northwest Coast Indian Art, & author of Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form Bill Holm made the same point about the significant role of Bill Reid:

Bill found the dry bones of a great art and—shamanlike—shook off the layers of museum dust and brought it back to life [v] (Duffek 1986: 6, 57).

Bill Reid gold “box” (1971) based on the shape of serving dishes Royal British Columbia Museum

Since Haida art production was disrupted by Canada’s 1884 Indian Act banning of the potlatch, the transmission of the culture’s art traditions had been severely restricted (Duffek 1986: 6). In his early 20s, Reid had decided to educate himself about it & undertook to learn from & study with his Haida grandfather, Charles Gladstone. He “was the last in a direct line of Haida silversmiths who had learned their craft from their elders,”—including Gladstone’s uncle, the renowned artist Charles Edenshaw (Duffek 1986: 4). Reid investigated early Haida jewellery in the possession of his family members, wrote, & narrated a documentary film about the salvaging of totem poles from abandoned villages as well as other related films (Duffek 1986: 4-5). He also pursued ethnographic reports by early anthropologists & books by collectors of Haida smiths (Duffek 1986: 7, 8).

In cooperation with Bill Holm, Bill Reid developed an outline of the traditional Haida design logic vocabulary & he was instrumental in creating a growing market for Northwest Pacific Coast Indigenous art (Duffek 1986: 9-11, 26). Reid also published his growing understandings about Haida artistic design & created various exhibits (Duffek 1986: 24).

Notably, Reid also spent many years researching Haida collections in museums such as the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the British Columbia Provincial Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, & he maintained a “vital and enduring relationship” with the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology (Duffek 1986: 1, 5, 7, 23).

Reid’s quest for understanding the essence and the roots of a unique art form led him to discover his own “Haidaness” and, in the process, restored much of the dynamic power, magic, and possibility to the art. In doing so he became the catalyst to empower a whole Nation (Wikipedia 2023) [emphasis added].

Such empowering projects also included Reid’s participation in protests against logging the rain forests of Gwaii Haanas (South Moresby) & his Lootaas, a large cedar canoe that he carved for Expo 86 (Duffek 1986: 24-25).

According to the website of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art established in 2008 “to celebrate the Haida master artist Bill Reid (1920 – 1998), and the diverse living cultures of the Northwest Coast. . . to build bridges between all peoples, including Indigenous and settler populations. . . [&] to promote a greater awareness of Indigenous cultures and values” (Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art n.d.),

Mentorship plays an essential role in the intergenerational transmission of cultural and artistic knowledge. Many of the artists Bill Reid mentored, including Chief James Hart, are now mentors themselves. Bill’s commitment to young artists helped promote Northwest Coast art as a thriving art form and strengthened the cycle of intergenerational learning (Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art” n.d.)

Reid mentored several other Indigenous artists including Robert Davidson, Beau Dick, Joe David, Reg Davidson, Douglas Cranmer, & Gary Edenshaw, “as well as others who never met Reid but found inspiration in his life and career” (Duffek 1986: 18, 21, 24, passim).

Although Bill Reid himself rejected this idea (Duffek 1986: 26, 28), it is widely recognised, & seems undeniable that,

The main motive behind his work was to ensure lasting recognition for Haida artistic traditions. In reclaiming the art of the past for present use, Reid helped bring about a major artistic transformation. He is now hailed as the father of a Northwest Coast cultural “renaissance.”

With a foot in each culture, Reid has looked in both directions at once, exploring not only the constraints but also the freedom of transforming traditions (Duffek 1986: 23, 55).

In the case of Bill Reid & his study of museum holdings of Haida belongings, there clearly have been very significant positive outcomes deriving from museum collections that strongly support Haida artistic revitalisation.

Serendipity & Screams of Joy Over Anishinaabe Materials at Museum London

Given your blogger’s lengthy interest the subject of this post, in 2018 I took note of a report on the research of Anishnaabe woman from Saugeen First Nation, Turtle Clan member Bimadoshka (Annya) Pucan, who in 2011 was an undergraduate student researching Indigenous  participation in the War of 1812 [vi] (CTV News Staff 2018). A professor had referred Ms. Pucan to a book by Dr. Edwin Seaborn published in 1944, The March of Medicine in Western Ontario that, apart from her interest in details of a story on the War of 1812, enabled Ms. Pucan to find a reference to wax cylinder recordings captured in 1938 of a man from her community, Anishinaabe medicine man Robert Thompson (CTV News Staff 2018).

Mr. Thompson, born in 1876, “was a medicine man, mill worker, and fiddler who lived at Chiefs Point reserve in southern Ontario, which is part of Saugeen’s traditional territory” (CBC Radio 2020).

Original image credit: Robert Thompson (detail), London Free Press Collection, Western Archives, Western University, London, Ontario [at  Museum London (2018) with additional links to other related information].

At first, Pucan recalled being hesitant to hear the recordings. As a powwow dancer, she had spent a lot of time with her grandparents and elders, learning about medicine and traditional knowledge.

“I feared the power, I suppose, that could be contained in those recordings,” . . . “We don’t record our traditional or sacred knowledge and our sacred songs, we don’t do that. So how could these recordings exist?” (CBC Radio 2020).

This kind of response was identified in my own research that identified some reasons why Indigenous peoples actually wanted to give medicine bundles & other sacred objects to museums in the first place:

It has been argued further, not only by museums but by some Native people too, that many of the artifacts were given up to museums because the ceremonial knowledge needed to control their power was disappearing under attack by missionary and governmental forces, apathy of younger generations, the ravages of time, and the death of experienced religious practitioners. There are numerous examples of families who did not wish to keep the powerful ceremonial materials in their possession because they were afraid that, without the means, interest or knowledge to control this great power, they themselves would be harmed. Burdensome financial obligations involved in the process of renewal [of medicine bundles] has also been a motivation here (Finster 1975:47 Cuthand 1978 pers. comm.) {in Thistle 1978b: 3-4}.

There is no escaping the fact that in other cases ceremonial artifacts separated from Indigenous communities & individuals by museum collecting served to block significant ongoing cultural practices & prevented proper ceremonial care & feeding of these belongings. However, I believe we need to recognise that, in this case, under changing expectations for museums (Danyluk & Mackenzie 2022), much needed increasing access opportunities (e.g. Stefanovich 2022; White 2022), long years of Indigenous activism (e.g. Medicine et al. 1973: 21), & strong recommendations for improvements in modes of interaction with museums extensively enumerated in the crucial Moved to Action report (Danyluk & MacKenzie 2022) definitely are proving to be of significant benefit to Indigenous peoples. Clearly, there is evidence to add to the elevated balance pan.

The role of Museum London has been crucial in preserving valuable Indigenous records & providing access to Anishinaabemowin language materials for the Saugeen First Nation community that had been spoken by medicine man Robert Thompson & recorded on aluminum-plated discs and wax phonograph cylinder recordings by Dr. Edwin Seaborn in 1938 (CTV New Staff 2018).

While they had been in the possession of Seaborn’s family until 1975, they were donated to the museum, which kept the recordings in a storage area for more than 40 years. “We knew exactly where they were, it was not a problem,” said curator of regional history Amber Lloydlangston of Museum London. “What we didn’t know was what they actually meant” (CTV News Staff 2018).

It also should be noted that, in cooperation with Ms. Pucan, Museum London arranged to migrate the wax cylinder format recordings to digital by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Maryland. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that these unique 85-year-old recordings preserved & kept intellectually accessible for nearly half a century now by Museum London have provided an immeasurable service—not to say immense joy—to  Anishinaabemowin speakers.

Now a PhD in anthropology & Concordia University & Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Dr. Pucan described her reaction upon hearing her ancestor’s voice on the recordings:

“When I first heard his voice I screamed, ‘I can hear you!’ And I really did scream loud and I was crying tears,” she said. “I felt an incredible connection.” . . .

Bringing the recordings home has had a profound impact on Pucan. “I had a sense of victory, that we won. I rescued my ancestors, I was bringing them home, they were finally free. That was a very powerful moment for me,” she said (CBC Radio 2020).

Once discovered at Museum London, Bimadoshka (Annya) Pucan, who at that time carried out extensive work with Saugeen First Nation elders, held workshops with community members to re-introduce both sacred & secular songs as well as the stories preserved on the recordings, & also guest curated the “Voices of Chiefs Point” exhibit at Museum London on the cultural impact of Seaborn’s Robert Thompson wax cylinders for the Saugeen First Nation. After all, they are thought to be the oldest known recordings of Anishinaabemowin (CBC Radio 2020; cf. CTV News Staff 2018).

Robert Thompson recordings (detail) in “Voices of Chief’s Point” exhibit at Museum London
(CTV News Staff 2018).

There are 19 different recordings that include sacred songs the community has decided not to share publicly, songs that can be shared, information about plant medicines, family history and even moments of humour (CBC Radio 2020).

Museum collections in this case gathered ethically with Mr. Thompson’s agreement for Dr. Seaborn’s purpose to record “the songs and stories to better understand Indigenous traditions” (CTV News Staff 2018). As Bimadoshka (Annya) Pucan has stated:

 “Robert Thompson was able to bend time for us with these recording,” she said. “He did this on purpose. He knew we would need these songs, these stories. He knew we would need these connections” (CTV News Staff 2018) [emphases added].

Is such an outcome not another clear proof & strong demonstration of the substantial value of museum collecting “in the service of society”—a modern society that, in theory at least, in this case includes Indigenous peoples? All this I maintain is in spite of the other irreparable damages done to Indigenous cultures that lost many crucial elements of their material cultures that need to be acknowledged, but also remembered as potential key contributions to Indigenous cultural renaissance.

Jeremy Dutcher Triumph Derived from Museum Collection:

Jeremy Dutcher, a member of Tobique First Nation, classically trained operatic tenor, musicologist, & composer has engineered a rather spectacular accomplishment by accessing more than a century-old wax cylinder recordings in his ancestral language in the collection of the Canadian Museum of History.

An anthropologist, William H. Mechling, “lived among Dutcher’s ancestors for seven years in the early 1900s, capturing the songs and voices of the community on wax phonograph cylinders (Brocklehurst 2018).

The original wax cylinders anthropologist William H. Mechling used to record in 1911. They are currently housed at the Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau, Que. ( Image from Brocklehurst (2018).

Weeks of meticulous musical transcription of the Canadian Museum of History’s copies of the wax cylinder recordings migrated to modern media allowed Mr. Dutcher to create his 2018 Polaris Music Prize as the Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit. On this album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Dutcher combines his own operatic interpretations with his traditional language singing entirely the Wolastoq (Maliseet) expression. It is of tremendous significance for the preservation of this Indigenous language since there are now fewer than 100 living fluent Wolastoq speakers (Brocklehurst 2018).

Jeremy Dutcher Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa album cover (detail) depicting the equipment that would have been used to collect the 110-year old recordings that inspired him.The backdrop image is Cree artist, Kent Monkman’s painting, “Teaching The Lost” (Brocklehurst 2018).

At the Polaris Prize award ceremony, Dutcher said:

Psiw-te npomawsuwinuwok, kiluwaw yut! All of my people, this is for you!”

Canada, you are in the midst of an Indigenous renaissance. Are you ready to hear the truths that need to be told? Are you ready to see the things that need to be seen?

“To do this record in my language and have it witnessed not just by my people, but every nation from coast to coast, up and down Turtle Island — we’re at the precipice of something.

“I do this work to honour those who have gone before, and I lay the footwork for those who have yet to come. This is all a continuum of Indigenous excellence, and you are here to witness it” (Brocklehurst 2018) [emphases added].

Although Dutcher stated “It [the recorded material] is not doing any good sitting on a shelf collecting dust. It has to be with the people,” surely everyone can recognise that the Canadian Museum of History’s preservation of these unique historic recordings on their storage shelves, maintaining the intellectual control over these materials, & migrating them to modern stable media to provide access has in fact permitted a tremendous “good” to occur for Tobique First Nation Wolastoq current speakers & future generations. In personal terms, Dutcher himself also stated:

“I think for me, what this project allowed me to do was to sit down with my mother and my elders in my community and ask them about their lives. To say, ‘what was your experience of music growing up? What did your community sound like growing up?’ And understanding that the circle was never broken. That we’re all just part of one continuous artistic lineage of Wolastoq song carriers.”

When I first got to hear these voices, that work for me was a profoundly transformational moment in my life. It was a process of deep listening — to sit there with these headphones and really hear what these voices had to tell me.”

Again therefore, we can say that the Canadian Museum of History collection of Wolastoq recordings has been an irreplaceable benefit for the Tobique First Nation, its cultural survival, future generations, as well as Mr. Dutcher.

For further reading on this case, see several related links provided in the Wikipedia (2023) article on Jeremy Dutcher.


In the current flurry of activity generated in the wake of CMA’s welcome Moved to Action report (Danyluk & MacKenzie 2022),[vii] let us not neglect the value of museum collection, preservation, & intellectual access to Indigenous belongings & archival materials for what positive outcomes may be generated in support of ongoing Indigenous resistance to the colonial assimilationist project, cultural revival, & leading to the renaissance of self-determination.

Although only 5 positive outcomes have been named in this post, I trust that the examples provided will begin to show another perspective on museum collecting so as to provide a small measure of counterbalance to the extensive reporting of negative outcomes by Danyluk & MacKenzie (2022: 12, 41-42, 48, 121) & their predecessors (cf. Cole 1995: 170-76, 307-10, passim; Thistle 1978b).

We do need to recall that these same institutions have collected Indigenous materials & maintained intellectual control over them until they can be increasingly accessed, repatriated, & serve the desperate need of Indigenous communities to revitalise their cultures in “sine qua non“—Black’s Legal Dictionary meaning “Latin-without which not. A thing that is absolutely indispensable or essential”—ways that can &, in future, still will be able to continue to bolster the survival of Indigenous cultures. 


Time Sensitive Resource: CMA webinar on 3 May 2023 “Moved to Action: A Workshop on Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums”. Registration link in References Cited (Canadian Museums Association 2023) .

Your blogger recommends accessing the directly related entire CBC Radio (2020) Unreserved programme episode at FULL EPISODE: Found sound: Archival recordings create connection to the past (accessed 30 March 2023)

Also see Thistle (2023b) listing 52 URLs linking to news stories I have collected over the past number of years that identify cases—some cooperatively successful, others not—of museum repatriations to Indigenous groups & individuals.

References Cited:

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. n.d. “Chief 7idansuu James Hart Emerging Artist Program” at & “About the Gallery” at (accessed 30 March 2023).

Brocklehurst, Sean. 2018. ” ‘Deep listening’: How Jeremy Dutcher crafted his fascinating Polaris Prize-winning album.” CBC News Posted: Sep 18, 2018 3:58 PM EDT | Last Updated: September 18, 2018 at (accessed 4 April 2023).

Canadian Museums Association. 2023. “Moved to Action: A Workshop on Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums.” May 3, 10am – 11:30am EST: Register at ] (accessed 5 April 2023).

CBC Radio. 2023. “Transcript [Chief Snuxyaltwa interview].” The Current for 20 February 2023 at . [The audio recording is at ].

CBC Radio. 2020. ” ‘I rescued my ancestors’: Anishinaabe anthropologist brings archival recordings back home.” Unreserved Posted: Mar 06, 2020 11:48 AM EST | Last Updated: July 29, 2020 at [Profitably listen to the entire Unreserved episode on “archival recordings of Indigenous languages, songs and audio that captured a moment in time” at FULL EPISODE: Found sound: Archival recordings create connection to the past ] (accessed 30 March 2023).

CBC Radio. 2018. “Voices from the past: Musician Jeremy Dutcher gives new life to wax cylinder recordings of his ancestors.” Unreserved Posted: Mar 09, 2018 1:27 PM EST | Last Updated: December 28, 2018 at (accessed 6 April 2023).

Cole, Douglas. 1995 [original 1985]. Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts. Reprint Edition. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Collins, Leah. 2022. “Go inside Kent Monkman’s new ROM exhibition, a corrective to your childhood museum field trips.” CBC Arts · Posted: Oct 13, 2022 8:00 AM ET at (accessed 13 October 2022).

CTV News Staff. 2018. ” ‘I can hear you’: 1938 Indigenous recordings preserved in Ont. Museum.” Published Thursday, July 5, 2018 9:24PM EDT at (accessed 30 March 2023).

Duffek, Karen. 1986. Bill Reid: Beyond the Essential Form. Museum Note No. 19. Vancouver: The University of British Columbia Press.

Cooke, Stephen. 2018. “Jeremy Dutcher breathes new life into century-old Wolastoq recordings.” The Chronicle Herald (Halifax) Published May 8, 2018 – 6:03pm Last Updated May 8, 2018 – 6:05pm at (accessed 5 April 2023).

Cuthand, Stan. 1978. Personal communication with Dr. Cuthand, Head, Native Studies Department, University of Manitoba with Paul Thistle.

Danyluk, Stephanie & MacKenzie, Rebecca. 2022. Moved to Action: Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums A Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #67. Ottawa: Canadian Museums Association at OR   (accessed 21 March 2023).

Finster, D. 1975. “Museums and Medicine Bundles.” Indian Historian 8 (2): 40-48.

Hobson, Brittany. 2023. “Chief Poundmaker’s pipe, saddle bag returning from Royal Ontario Museum to family.” Global News The Canadian Press Posted February 22, 2023 6:21 am Updated February 22, 2023 4:08 pm at (accessed 22 February 2023).

Medicine, Bea et al. 1973. “Finders Keepers?” Museum News 51 (7): 20-26.

Monkman, Kent. 2022. Kent “Monkman is challenging the way museums tell Indigenous stories.” Q with Tom Power CBC Radio broadcast Oct 13, 2022 20:08 minutes at minute 0 to 4:20 [also accessible at ] (accessed 20 March 2023).

Regan, Raina. 2021. “The Burnout Crisis in Historic Preservation.” Preservation Leadership Forum (Washington: National Trust for Historic Preservation) posted 09-01-2021 14:51 at (accessed 6 March 2023).

St. Pierre, Crystal. 2023. “What would Bill Reid think of Northwest Coast art today?: Exhibit explores style’s bright future.” posted Monday, April 17th, 2023 1:19pm at (accessed 19 April 2023).

Stefanovich, Olivia. 2022. “Inuit leader says Vatican Museums open to repatriating Indigenous artifacts.” CBC News  Posted: Mar 30, 2022 11:46 AM EDT | Last Updated: March 30, 2022 at,them%20back%20to%20our%20people.%22 (accessed 3 April 2023).

Thistle, Paul C. 2023a. “Response[viii] to the Canadian Museums Association Moved to Action Report” submitted to CMA staff Stephanie Danyluk, Rebecca MacKenzie, & Executive Director and CEO Janis Kahentóktha Monture, as well as CMA President Heather George on 10 March 2023 at Response to CMA Moved to Action Report (accessed 6 April 2023).

Thistle, Paul C. 2023b. “Links to Repatriation of Indigenous Materials Collected by Paul C. Thistle as of 4 April 2023” at LINKS TO REPATRIATION OF INDIGENOUS MATERIALS (accessed 5 April 2023).

Thistle, Paul C. 2004. “‘Sealed with Smoke’ Exhibit Unit Introductory Panel Texts” [created while the author was Curator of Exhibits at the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Wisconsin] at Sealed With Smoke Unit Intro Texts (accessed 8 April 2023).

Thistle, Paul C. 2003. “Museums As Diaspora For Native Americans: A Presentation Delivered to the Beloit College Faculty Forum” for the Beloit College ‘Year of Diaspora’ Faculty Forum, Beloit, WI, 3 November. Corrected speaking notes version located at .

Thistle, Paul C. 2012-2022. Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers blog at (accessed 24 February 2023) [use the term burnout in the search field, or click on the sidebar “managing burnout” tag, or search the INDEX (annotated) page to identify burnout in post titles].

Thistle, Paul C. 1996. “Book Reviews: Cole, Douglas. Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts. Reprint Edition. . The Canadian Journal of Native Studies 16(2):371-2 at at PDF p. 9 (pp. 371-2).

Thistle, Paul C. 1990. “Editor’s View.” Little Northern Museum Scene No. 38, August 1990 (Sam Waller Little Northern Museum, The Pas, MB), p. 1 at (accessed 24 February 2023).

Thistle, Paul C. 1986. Indian-European Trade Relations in the Lower Saskatchewan River Region to 1840. Manitoba Studies in Native History II. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press .

Thistle, Paul C. 1978a. “THE TECHNIQUES OF ARCHAEOLOGY. SLIDE SERIES X a & b.” The Pas, MB: Kelsey School Division at [NOTE: the related 35 mm colour slide images are now all shown in my blog post “Archaeology Techniques Slide Shows” posted September 8, 2021 at ] (accessed 28 March 2023).

Thistle, Paul C. 1978b. “Whose Heritage?: The Conflict Between Native People and Museums with Comments by Katherine Pettipas” Unpublished paper by Paul C. Thistle prepared for a course in the Museology Programme at the University of Winnipeg under Dr. George Lammers at .

White, Dave. 2022. “Yukon researchers bring Indigenous history home from museums in Ottawa and the Vatican.” CBC News Posted: Oct 10, 2022 4:00 AM EDT | Last Updated: December 5, 2022 at (accessed 3 April 2023).

Willard, Michelle & Bell, Lorraine. 2021. Governance Challenges and Opportunities in B.C.’s Small to Medium Non-profit Museums: A conversation with past and present Executive Directors about what needs to change and how to change it. Vancouver: British Columbia Museums Association, Mighty Museum, & Vancouver Foundation posted September 22, 2021 at (accessed 17 March 2023).


[i] My approach is founded on my analysis of “critical museology” on the “About Critical Museology Miscellanea” page at (accessed 10 March 2023).

[ii] Subsequently, I undertook an interdisciplinary MA programme at the University of Manitoba to prepare my thesis on the ethnohistory of early contact relations in the HBC Cumberland House & The Pas region. From the resulting published book: “Preface: Several factors inspired this study. First was the realization that very little had been written about the early history of the area between Cumberland House and The Pas – a region of significant historical depth and importance. For example, teachers in The Pas attempting to develop a native studies curriculum found little information available on the Cree people of the region. . .” (Thistle 1986: ix).

[iii] Later known as the Canadian Museum of Civilisation & currently as the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau Quebec (formerly known as Hull, PQ).

[iv] Although Duffek (1986: 20) reports, “He began the work alone in 1976,” one of my mid-July 1976 images at the very earliest stage of this carving project shows an unidentified assistant carver [possibly Gary Edenshaw mentioned by Duffek?] in the slide show below.

[v] Comment by Bill Holm, author of Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form (Vancouver: J.J. Douglas Ltd, 1978 [original 1965]) in the 1974 Bill Reid retrospective exhibition catalogue (Duffek 1986: 6, 57).

[vi] See your blogger’s positively evaluated parallel unpublished research on this topic in Thistle (1973) “Thistle 1973 Significance of Indians in War of 1812” & get easy access to its references in Thistle 1973 Significance of Indians in War of 1812 Endnotes & Bibliography.

[vii] Also attend to the Canadian Museum Association’s 3 May 2023 webinar “Moved to Action: A Workshop on Activating UNDRIP in Canadian Museums.” Register at .

[viii] My approach is founded on “critical museology” analysed in “About Critical Museology Miscellanea” at (accessed 10 March 2023).

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