In September 2009, twenty-one members of the Haida Nation went to the Pitt Rivers Museum and the British Museum to work with several hundred heritage treasures. Featuring contributions from all the participants and a rich selection of illustrations, This Is Our Life details the remarkable story of the Haida Project – from the planning to the encounter and through the years that followed. A fascinating look at the meaning behind objects, the value of repatriation, and the impact of historical trajectories like colonialism, this is also a story of the understanding that grew between the Haida people and museum staff.
Cara Krmpotich is an assistant professor in the Museum Studies program at the University of Toronto. Laura Peers is a curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum and a reader in material anthropology in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford.
This inspirational book offers a fascinating ethnography .., The innovative multivocal presentation incorporates a range of opinions and emotions expressed by named curators, conservators, researchers, Elders, cultural descendants, and artists. The authors demonstrate the historical richness of museum collections and highlight their potential for community revitalization and cross-cultural understanding.
This book offers honest insight into the logistics, dilemmas, anxieties, anger, and joy, which combined for a “bittersweet” experience for museum professionals and the Haida through the six months' preparations and during the three-week visit.