Indigenous and non-Indigenous public history partnerships present unique challenges. Historical colonial practices and their present persistence, divergent historical perspectives, and disciplinary standards that enforce antiquated notions of objectivity and historical truth complicate the spaces of “shared authority.” Moreover, public history institutions and their academic counterparts have historically broadcast colonial success. How can we foster partnerships that do not reinforce “asymmetrical relations of power”? How can educators build capacity in students to partner ethically with Indigenous Nations? This essay draws from a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship to argue that a triad of concepts–shared authority, contact zones, and survivance–can aid in the development of decolonial public history practices and curricula.
Shared Authority in the Context of Tribal Sovereignty: Building Capacity for Partnerships with Indigenous Nations
Katrine Barber is an associate professor of History at Portland State University where she directs the M.A. public history track and serves as an affiliated faculty to the Indigenous Nations Studies Program. From 2005-2011, she directed the Center for Columbia River History, a public history consortium that included Portland State University, Washington State University Vancouver, and the Washington State Historical Society (ccrh.org). She has worked as a public and oral historian since 1999 and has published two books, Death of Celilo Falls (University of Washington Press) and Nature’s Northwest: The North Pacific Slope in the 20th Century (with William Robbins, University of Arizona Press).
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Katrine Barber; Shared Authority in the Context of Tribal Sovereignty: Building Capacity for Partnerships with Indigenous Nations. The Public Historian 1 November 2013; 35 (4): 20–39. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2013.35.4.20
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