Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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Colonial Archives and Decolonial Museology – Panel 1

February 17, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

In this series of two webinars, we inquire into the University of Michigan’s archives, museums, visual and living collections to ask how they are implicated in the violent histories of settler colonialism in the United States and US colonialist rule over the Philippines. How can we carry these difficult archives and collections into the future? How do they intersect and in what ways do they differ? What are our responsibilities as researchers, curators, and archivists in relation to the collections, their histories, and their indigenous and national communities of origin?


February 17, 4:00 – 5:30 pm   (Click here to register via Zoom)  

Indigenous Epistemologies: Restorative Justice in Settler-Colonial Collections

Moderator: Veronica Pasfield, Public Historian, Tribal Cultural Resources Consultant, Journalist, and Curator


  • Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Director, Illinois State Museum
  • David Michener, Curator, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
  • Veronica Williamson, PhD candidate, German Languages and Literatures & Museum Studies Certificate Student

This first panel considers collections relating to Native American past, present and future. Calling for a paradigm shift that emphasizes regeneration and restoration of indigenous ways of living, David Michener focuses on projects at the UM Matthaei Botanical Garden with deep connections to indigenous culture and agriculture: the Heritage Seed Project and the Mnomen Initiative, a collaborative indigenous garden project led by Anishinaabek community members. Veronica Williamson, speaking about her work with co-curator Lindsey Willow Smith (not present for the panel), confronts the visual layers of settler-colonialism in postcards and cartes de visite of Native American people. She ponders the possibility of reading the portraits against the grain and reflects on ways to re-historicize and re-humanize the photographs of indigenous people. Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko will share decolonizing museum practices that she co-led in her role as director of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine and now at the Illinois State Museum.


Ojibwe men making birch canoes
Joel E. Whitney & Charles A. Zimmerman
Stereograph, published by Lovejoy & Foster, ca. 1870
William L. Clements Library, Richard Pohrt Jr. Collection of Native American Photography



February 17, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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