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April 18, 2005
Contact: Bobbi Rahder, indigenous nations studies program.

KU indigenous museum studies graduate students participating in 2 conferences

LAWRENCE -- Graduate students enrolled in the indigenous museum studies class on grant writing at the University of Kansas are presenting recommendations for Native American collections curated at Spooner Hall in panel discussions for two conferences at KU in April.

The students will present a panel discussion and tour of Native American artifacts in Spooner Hall gallery museum collections at the Native American Professors Conference at KU, April 21 to 23. Their session and tours will be 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 23. The location of the panel will be available on the INS Web site, http://www.ku.edu/~insp/. Tours of selected Native American artifacts in Spooner Hall gallery will be from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 23.

The students also discussed their recommendations and ideas for funding and provided tours of museum collections during the Big 12 American Indian Student Leadership Conference at KU April 14 to 17. One of the exhibits, "Crow Indian Traditional Arts and Dance," was curated by Allen Knows Gun, KU graduate student of the Crow Tribe in Montana.

KU's Center for Indigenous Nations Studies began offering a class in indigenous museum studies last fall with funding from Kim Wilcox, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The course emphasizes indigenous museum issues and is taught by lecturer Bobbi Rahder from an international indigenous perspective.

At Spooner Hall, students work with Interim Director Mary Adair to access collections for research, recommend improvements on tribal affiliation and contextual cultural information for the approximately 5,000 Native American objects in the collection and to write grants to fund their recommendations.

The students have recommended and are seeking funding to:

  1. 1. Bring in tribal consultants to identify the tribal affiliation as well as the cultural context for many of the artifacts to add this information to the museum's database.
  2. Improve storage conditions by purchasing archivally safe enclosures and storage cabinets.
  3. Improve access to the collections by funding a collections manager position to provide access through curation, teaching and researcher access, exhibits and public education programs.
  4. Bring in tribal consultants to provide traditional care methods and information to museum staff to honor and implement their traditional ways and beliefs while the collections are under the stewardship of KU.

In addition to writing grant proposals to private foundations and public funding agencies to raise funds to meet the identified needs, the students planned to sell donated arts and crafts items at the First Nations Student Association powwow on April 16 in Robinson Gymnasium.

Students making presentations are listed below by their names and tribal affliations if Native American, their hometowns, undergraduate degrees and parents' names (when available).

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence
Ashley Dosien, master's degree student in museum studies, son of Deborah Peterson; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

MINNESOTA
From Minneapolis
Louis Hepi Crowfeather, Standing Rock Sioux, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

MONTANA
From Crow Agency
Allen Knows Gun, Crow, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University. Knows Gun is also presenting a Big 12 panel workshop on "Crow Indian Family Structure, Arts, Language and Land-base in the Continuation of an Indigenous People's 'Way of Life.'" He also prepared an exhibit of items from the museum's historical collections as well as contemporary items from his Crow tribe in Montana for public viewing at the conference.

From Lame Deer
Ruben Littlehead, Cheyenne, master's degree student in speech-language pathology, son of Bernard Littlehead; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

NEW MEXICO
From Zuni and from Davenport, Iowa
Carla Feathers, Pawnee, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies, daughter of Tony Dosien of Davenport, Iowa; bachelor's degree in history from KU.

NORTH DAKOTA
From Belcourt
Anna Sarcia, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

OKLAHOMA
From Skiatook
Avis Ballard, Osage Nation, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

TENNESSEE
From Cookville
Mary Lettau, Cherokee, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from University of Colorado at Boulder.

TEXAS
From New Braunfels
Johna Van Noy, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from Austin College in Texas.

WISCONSIN
From Keshena
Jancita Warrington, Menominee/Pottawatomie, master's degree student in indigenous nations studies; bachelor's degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

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