Communities across the nation have faced a reckoning with their monuments. The last year has seen a groundswell of questions about who gets to define our stories in the public sphere. On April 27th, 2021 we held a conversation about this recalibration to consider modern examples of healthy commemoration of Indigenous history and cultures. Our speakers are firmly rooted in their Native heritage and are recognized thinkers in representation that elevates and amplifies a more inclusive version of history. Deana Dartt, Roberta Conner, and Emily Washines will consider historical narratives and power dynamics, symbolic representation and the evolving understanding of our history.
This event was in partnership with Whitman College.
Roberta Conner is Cayuse, Umatilla, and Nez Perce and is enrolled at the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. She is the director of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, on the Umatilla Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon. Bobbie is on the Ecotrust Board of Directors, and serves on the Tribes’ Land Acquisition Committee. She chaired the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian in 2012 and 2013 during service from 2008 to 2014. She also served on the Board of Directors for the American Alliance of Museums from 2008 to 2014.
Deana Dartt, PhD, Principal of Live Oak Consulting, is Coastal Chumash and Mestiza, descending from the indigenous people of the Californias. Her work strives to address incongruities between public understanding, representation and true acknowledgement of Native peoples, their cultures, histories and contemporary lives. She earned her MA and PhD from the University of Oregon and has held curatorial positions at the Burke Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Portland Art Museum.
Emily Washines is an enrolled Yakama Nation tribal member with Cree and Skokomish lineage. Her blog, Native Friends, focuses on history and culture. Building understanding and support for Native Americans is evident in her research, films, writing, speaking, and exhibits. She is a board member of the Museum of Culture and Environment, Artist Trust, and Columbia Riverkeeper. She lives on the Yakama reservation with her husband and three children.
Moderated by Matt Reynolds, professor of art history and visual culture studies at Whitman College