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Great Plains talk: Amy Lonetree

Decolonizing Museums and Memorials: Reclaiming Narratives and Centering Indigenous Survivance

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Great Plains Art Museum
1155 Q St.
Lincoln NE 68508
Directions: 11th and Q streets
Target Audiences:
Katie Nieland, (402) 472-3965,
Amy Lonetree will speak at the Great Plains Art Museum as part of the Spring 2024 speaker series: “Centering Indigenous Voices in Museums.” Join us in the museum lobby at 5 p.m. for light appetizers and refreshments just before the talk.

Talk title: “Decolonizing Museums and Memorials: Reclaiming Narratives and Centering Indigenous Survivance”

Indigenous communities have long called for more rigorous interpretation in museums and historic sites that gives voice to the Native American experience and honors their survivance. In her talk, Amy Lonetree (Ho-Chunk Nation) will consider the ongoing project of decolonizing and Indigenizing museums, lessons learned, and the challenges of reclaiming Indigenous ancestors and cultural belongings in colonial institutions. Lonetree will also explore the importance of unsettling colonial representations on the memorial landscape and the need to center Native voice and perspective in interpretation in museums and memorials.

Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation and a Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her scholarly research focuses on twentieth century Native American history, public history, visual culture studies, and museum studies. Her publications include, “Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums”; a co-edited book, “The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations;” and a co-authored volume, “People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942.” She is currently working on a book focusing on a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation that explores family history, tourism, settler colonialism, and Ho-Chunk survivance.

This talk is only available online via live stream:

About the series:

Who decides how history is told, and what counts as art? For many years, museums have claimed the social authority to interpret history and culture. As institutions rooted in colonialism, museums largely have presented Eurocentric narratives and displayed art that misrepresented or erased Indigenous peoples. In recent years, Indigenous curators, artists, and community members have called for decolonizing museums.

This speaker series features Indigenous museum and cultural professionals who are working to change the narrative and elevate Native creative expression. This series is part of the “Walking in the Footsteps of our Ancestors: Re-Indigenizing Southeast Nebraska” project at the Center for Great Plains Studies, funded by the Mellon Foundation.

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This event originated in Center for Great Plains Studies.