1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Centring Relationality in Métis Material Culture Repatriation
Leah Hrycun, PhD Student in Indigenous Studies,
University of Alberta; Research Assistant, Rupertsland Centre for
About the Session
Members of the Métis Nation have expressed interest in advancing
repatriation efforts on behalf of Métis in Alberta. However, while
repatriation is very important to Métis in Alberta, current
policies and procedures - including resistance from museums - make
such repatriation efforts largely unavailable. From a Métis
perspective, reconciliation includes the exercise of
self-determination through the care, control, and repatriation of
their material culture. For this to occur, museums must practice
Métis relationality. Building relationships with Métis and opening
dialogues about Métis repatriation and care and control over
material culture is, in part, an answer to Call 67 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to
Action. In this session, attendees will learn about practical
ways that museums and collecting institutions can remove the
hurdles Métis face when trying to access or exercise care and
control over their material culture. Attendees will gain tools to
begin building good relations with Métis as a step toward
reconciliation with a Métis-specific repatriation framework.
Questions to Consider
- What are some ways you can see your museum or institution
incorporating Métis relationality?
- What barriers stand in the way of putting these ideas into
practice? How could these barriers be removed?
About the Speaker
she / her
Leah Hrycun is a PhD Student in Indigenous Studies at the
University of Alberta who has spent most of her life in
Amiskwaciwâskahikan (amisk-wa-chi-was-ga-hi-gan), also known as
Edmonton. She is a settler of Ukrainian, German, and Jewish
ancestry. Leah has been working as a research assistant with the
Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research for a number of years.
Celebrating its ten-year anniversary, the Rupertsland Centre for
Métis Research is a joint initiative between the Rupertsland
Learning Institute, the Métis Nation of Alberta, and the University
of Alberta, that seeks to address the specific research needs of
Métis in Alberta and build local, provincial, and national
connections with Métis communities. Leah's research interests
include Métis histories, material culture repatriation, land
settlement and dispossession, whiteness, and settler-colonialism.
This research seeks to raise awareness of the need for
Métis-specific repatriation frameworks and for museums to expand
their community engagement to include Métis.