First Friday Lecture: Gaawayag: Quillwork Skills Repatriation by Maureen Matthews. May 6, 2022. ASL interpretation by Tessa Rogowski. Unfortunately, around 45 minutes into the lecture Tessa had a power outage and was unable to rejoin the presentation. Captions by rev.com
Skills repatriation is about restoring Indigenous authority and expertise. Dr. Matthews will talk about working with artists to study and replicate the quillwork techniques found in 200-year-old museum artefacts. This wholly Indigenous medium has been used by Anishinaabe, Ininiw, Métis and Dakota artists in the past to create beautiful, wearable art. How it is used in the present will be up to the Anishinaabe, Ininiw, Métis and Dakota artists who find the magic in this demanding but brilliant practice.
Dr. Maureen Matthews is Curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum, where her most recent exhibit, developed in collaboration with First Nations Elders, won a national award for exhibit excellence. Her theoretical work brings Ojibwe philosophical and metaphorical thinking together with contemporary anthropology to explore the personhood and agency of objects in museums. In response to the relational obligations of these collections, Dr. Matthews works to create opportunities for Indigenous artefacts to form new teaching and mentoring relationships with contemporary Indigenous artists, scholars and community members.