In the week following Harper’s apology the headline story of the Calgary Herald‘s Sunday edition was a special report on the youth suicide epidemic on Tsuu T’ina Nation. That Saturday we spent the afternoon exploring the Sibbald Flat area.

The camping tradition at Sibbald Lake which spans several cultures and at least 11, 000 years continues today. It is with cruel irony that this area should be named after Howard E. Sibbald, an Indian agent (1901-1904) turned Banff National Park game warden (1909-). He was the Indian agent when the outer boundaries of Banff National Park were enlarged to encompass nearly all the hunting grounds of the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations and although he understood that the Stoney “took the enlargement of the Banff National Park very hard” he became a fierce opponent of First Nations hunting rights. So there it is, visitors to this area come away with his name on their photos! This region is associated with some of the oldest archaeological evidence of paleo-Indian hunting dating from the Plano Period (10,000 – 8,000 BP) as the glaciers retreated (now revised to as far back as 13, 000 years ago), the Assiniboine hunters of the 1700s and the Siouan-speaking Nakoda-Stoney who probably arrived in Banff in historic times-almost certainly after 1790, and perhaps not until the mid-1800s but they knew the place well by 1870. Surveyors and explorers of the late nineteenth century typically turned to Stoney guides, and as a result many landforms in Banff National Park are still known by their Stoney names.

Howard E. Sibbald was the the Indian agent on the reserve when the outer boundaries of Banff National Park were enlarged to encompass nearly all the hunting grounds of the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations. In his annual report (1902) he wrote that the Stoney “took the enlargement of the Banff National Park very hard.” In 1903 he added that

“I consider these Indians have behaved very well under certain restrictions put upon them in connection with their hunting in the National Park; this was a hard blow to some of the old hunters who have hunted over this ground all their lives, but the majority see the benefits to be derived from this preserve in years to come (Sibbald 1902, 1903 Binnema and Niemi 2006)”

A Selected Timeline Related to Critical Events in this Region

11,000 years ago Prehistoric hunters chipped stone spearpoints to hunt in the hot grasslands. The Plano Period (10,000 – 8,000 BP) About 10,000 years ago the climate began to change and grasslands spread across southern Alberta. Mammoths and many other Ice Age animals became extinct, A beautiful example of an Alberta point. While other animals flourished including antelope and a new, smaller species of bison. This period, known as the ‘Plano’ period after the Spanish word for plains, lasted up to 8,000 years ago. http://www.abheritage.ca/alberta/archaeology/overview_pg3_planopr.html

1670-1821 The forefathers of the Nakoda Nation, identified as the Mountain Stoney and the Wood Stoney, lived during the fur trade era (1670 – 1821). “It is probable that all the Stoney Nakoda groups interacted and camped with one another during the pre-contact and early fur trade period, and gradually intermingled with other Assiniboine and Siouan speaking families over the centuries (Abawathtech.)

1700s Assiniboine hunted bison with bows. Aspen trees were already established. Prior to the arrival of Anthony Henday in central Alberta in 1754, Aboriginal people from the area were trading with Europeans either directly by visiting posts to the north and east themselves, or indirectly by trading with Cree and Assiniboine groups. These Aboriginal traders exchanged goods they had acquired from fur trade posts for furs, Beaver Indians at trading post. horses, food and other products. In turn, they then traded furs and other goods at posts for more goods that they could trade later. In this way European trade goods reached Alberta in unknown qualities for at least half a century before the first European arrived in person to trade.

1790 – “The Siouan-speaking Stoney (Nakoda) probably arrived in Banff in historic times-almost certainly after 1790, and perhaps not until the mid-1800s but they knew the place well by 1870. Surveyors and explorers of the late nineteenth century typically turned to Stoney guides, and as a result many landforms in Banff National Park are still known by their Stoney names [1] (Binnema and Niemi 2006).”

1875- Cattle ranchers had already arrived. Pine trees were already established.50 years ago Stoney Indian wove freshly-cut willows into the walls of a sweat lodge. There was already an open meadow.

1875 The Ontario family Andrew Sibbald came to Morley, AB from Ontario to teach at George and John McDougall’s mission at Morley. In May 1900, Andrew Sibbald’s son, Howard E. Sibbald became the farmer in charge at Morley, and from 1901 to 1904 he was the Indian agent there.

1880s Indian agents did tolerate or even encourage Indians to hunt for subsistence during the winters during the 1880s and early 1890s, and even later in more remote regions, but they believed that when a sedentary agricultural way of life was feasible for any given community, that community should be dissuaded from hunting. Thus, from the perspective of some Indian officials, the restriction of aboriginal hunting rights might be a blessing in disguise.

1895 Quebec established its 2,531-square-mile Laurentides National Park in prohibiting all hunting in the park.

1900 Quebec deputy superintendent general reported that the aboriginals’ loss of hunting rights in the 2,531-square-mile Laurentides National Park near their reserve was one of the important factors that led them to direct their efforts towards agriculture.

1900 The last known wild passenger pigeon was killed around 1900.

1902 Howard E. Sibbald was the the Indian agent on the reserve when the outer boundaries of Banff National Park were enlarged to encompass nearly all the hunting grounds of the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations. In his annual report (1902) he wrote that the Stoney “took the enlargement of the Banff National Park very hard.” Reflecting on the enlargement of Banff National Park, wrote “I hope it will be for the best, for as long as there was any game so close to the reserve, it was hard for them to get down to work.”

1903-02 The Canadian Magazine published its obituary for the wild passenger pigeon species.

“[L]aws for the protection of our fish and game we have in plenty, but laws that are not enforced, and which are not supported by public sympathy, are worse than useless.” See Binnema and Niemi 2006.

1903 In his annual report Indian agent, Howard E. Sibbald, wrote that although hunting restrictions were “a hard blow to some of the old [Siouan-speaking Nakoda-Stoney] hunters, … the majority see the benefits to be derived from this preserve in years to come.” By that time, more Stoney had taken up paid work as guides even in the national park. He added that

“I consider these Indians have behaved very well under certain restrictions put upon them in connection with their hunting in the National Park; this was a hard blow to some of the old hunters who have hunted over this ground all their lives, but the majority see the benefits to be derived from this preserve in years to come (Sibbald 1902, 1903 Binnema and Niemi 2006)”

1903 In his annual report Howard Douglas argued that,

“Moose were frequently seen, elk, and black tail deer, big horns, and goats were plentiful; now some of these have totally disappeared… [and] there can only be one opinion on the subject. The Stony Indians are primarily responsible for this condition of affairs. They are very keen hunters, and have always been, and they are the only Indians who hunt in this section of the mountains. For years, from their reserve, they have systematically driven the valleys and hills and slaughtered the game. Their lodges are full of wild skins and meat. From thirty to fifty of the lodges are continually in the mountains from September 1 till Christmas … [T]he old haunts are deserted, the sheep runs are falling into disuse, and the greatest game country the sun ever shone upon is fast becoming a thing of the past. True, within the last few years, there has been a close season in which the Indians are supposed to stop harassing the game, but no notice has been taken of the law, and in short time this vast tract of mountain land, abounding in all that is required for the sustenance of wild animals, will be deserted, unless the Indians are compelled to live on their reserves. Laws are useless unless they are enforced. There seems to be a feeling that it would not do to press the more radical feature of the law amongst Indians. I feel that we have reached the time, when we can take a step in advance, when we can apply the laws more forcibly than we have, without creating any adverse sentiment. Let the line be drawn now; if we wait longer, the game will be gone (Douglas 1903).”

In his annual report Howard Douglas made an appeal for game wardens as the noted that with the expansion of the boundaries of the park, that there were increased difficulties in enforcement. What was not clearly explained in his annual report was that the new boundaries prevented the Nakoda-Stoney from hunting on almost all their hunting grounds! Douglas called for “the establishment of a rigid and thorough system of game guardians to maintain the legislation needed for the enforcement of much more severe penalties for its infraction.”

The Canadian government provided for the hiring of game wardens in national parks. Douglas believed that the Nakoda-Stoney were the most serious threat to the game of Banff National Park and he therefore chose Howard E. Sibbald as the first chief game guardian.

1910 In Glacier National Park in Montana, William R. Logan, the park’s first superintendent, was the former Indian agent on the Blackfoot reservation.

1911 The Canadian government passed the Dominion Forest Reserves and Parks Act, which established the Dominion Parks Branch-the world’s first national park service-and helped institutionalize the Warden Service of the national parks. This altered the boundaries of national parks so that areas that were not important tourist destinations were removed from the national parks. As a result much of the land in Banff Park was reallocated to a forest reserve. The Stoney only briefly took heart. In August 1911, the assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior sent a sternly worded letter to the secretary of the DIA announcing that it intended to enforce a new regulation that stipulated that no one was allowed to enter the forest reserves without special permission from the Department of Forestry. The documents suggest then, that the policies of barring aboriginal people from Banff National Park were rooted primarily in the goals and values of conservationists and sportsmen. But aboriginal subsistence hunting also frustrated one of the central goals of the DIA at the time: the civilization and assimilation of aboriginal people. When he was still the Indian agent at Morley, in 1903, Howard Sibbald opined that “as long as they can hunt you cannot civilize them. I have lived alongside of them for twenty six years, and with the exception of a few of the younger ones they are no more civilized now than they were when I first knew them, and I blame hunting as the cause.”

1930s By the 1930s, few Nakoda-Stoney could depend on full-time subsistence hunting.


1996 RCAP

2008 Harper’s Apology


1. Luxton, Banff, Canada’s First National Park, 49–50. For the Kutenai, see Raoul A. Andersen, “Alberta Stoney (Assiniboine) Origins and Adaptations: A Case for Reappraisal,” Ethnohistory 17 (1970): 48–61; and Theodore Binnema, Common and Contested Ground: A Human and Environmental History of the Northwestern Plains (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001), 81–82. For the Blackfeet, see Spence, Dispossessing the Wilderness, chap. 5; Brian Reeves and Sandra Peacock, “‘Our Mountains Are Our Pillows’: An Ethnographic Overview of Glacier National Park” (Glacier National Park, 2001); Brian O. K. Reeves, Mistakis: The Archaeology of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (Bozeman: Montana State University Press, 2003); and Binnema, Common and Contested Ground, chap. 2. The ancestors of the Stoney were among the Assiniboine who broke from the Sioux sometime before 1640. Some of their descendants were in the forests and foothills of the Rocky Mountains by the late 1700s, and in the area of present-day Banff Park by the mid 1800s. See Hugh A. Dempsey, Indian Tribes of Alberta (Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1988), 42–43. Also see Luxton, Banff, Canada’s First National Park, chap. 4

Bibliography and Webliography

Binnema, Theodore (Ted) and Melanie Niemi, ‘Let the Line be Drawn Now’: Wilderness, Conservation, and the Exclusion of Aboriginal People from Banff National Park in Canada. Environmental History. 11.4 (2006): 33 pars. 15 Jun. 2008 <http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/eh/11.4/binnema.html>.

Hildebrandt, Walter; Carter, Sarah; First Rider, Dorothy. 2008. The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7: Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council With Walter Hildebrandt, Dorothy First Rider, and Sarah Carter. Mcgill-Queens Native and Northern Series. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. ISBN: 0-7735-1522-4 408pp. http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=1419



From a political philosophy viewpoint, an apology is an ethical act by which the perpetrator admits responsibility for a heinous act, transfers shame from the victim to the perpetrator, restores the victim’s dignity, demonstrates the perpetrator’s commitment to a renewed ethical relationship of respect between the self and other which restores social harmony and reflects social justice. An apology from a psychological point of view, one that will provide the victim with closure and restored dignity, is timely, sincere and appropriate. In the adversarial legal system, an apology is an admission of guilt. This pits the moral imperative of the victims’ right to closure and healing against the legal imperative, the perpetrator’s right to self-defense. See Alter (1999:22).

In spite of the dramatic findings of the RCAP (1995), the federal government citing the legal imperative, hesitated to apologize for wrongdoings to protect the accused offenders’ rights to be presumed innocent.

There was great disappointment in January 1998 when the Minister responsible for Aboriginal affairs not the Prime Minister of Canada, delivered the Statement of Reconciliation on behalf of the Government of Canada to Aboriginal survivors of Residential Schools.

“Jean Chrétien …was not present when his government issued a formal apology to Canada’s aboriginal peoples last week. Chrétien’s absence was not lost on some chiefs, who grumbled that the apology lacked prime ministerial weight, was weakly worded and was not broad enough.” (Wallace 1998:111:3).

In June 2008 Prime Minister Harper delivered a formal apology that seemed to set aside concern for the legal imperative of guilty parties involved in the abusive residential schools and to focus on the moral imperative of survivors to closure and healing.

Selected webliography and bibliography

Alter, Susan. 1999. Apologising for Serious Wrongdoing: Social, Psychological and Legal Considerations. Law Commission of Canada.
2008-06-11. “We’re sorry,’ Harper says.” The Star. Toronto, ON.

Howard-Hassman, Rhoda E. 2002. “Moral Integrity and Reparations to Africa“. Untitled. G. Ulrich, L. Lindholt and L. Krabbe, Kluwer Law Publications: 39.

Wallace, B. 1998. “The Politics of Apology.” Maclean‘s 111:3. January 19.

Honouring Sarah Ekoomiak

June 10, 2008

“They called ME Stone Age!”

Photo of Inuk cultural interpretor Sarah Ekoomiak with the infant of a TB patient in her amaut taken aboard the C.D.Howe c.1964 where Sarah worked with DINA.

This is a revised version of:

Ekoomiak, Sarah and Maureen Flynn-Burhoe, 2005, Draft: Sarah Ekoomiak’s Life Story “They Called ME Stone Age”, Wakefield, Quebec. Copyrighted. Do not copy or print without permission of Sarah Ekoomiak and Maureen Flynn-Burhoe.

Ekoomiak, Sarah and Maureen Flynn-Burhoe, 2005, Draft: Sarah Ekoomiak’s Life Story “They Called ME Stone Age”, Wakefield, Quebec. First uploaded to http://inuitartwebliography.blogspot.com/2006/12/sarah-ekoomiaks-life-story-they-called.html. November 18, 2006. Accessed yyyy/mm/dd uploaded with permission of Flynn-Burhoe to yoursite.htm on yyyy/mm/dd. Creative Commons copyright 2.5 11:38 AM

See also Sarah’s Photo Album

Martin, Lucy. 2008-06. “Heard Up North—way Up North: the Ekoomiaks.” North Country Public Radio.

Introduction: The contents of this collaborative research are based on conversations between friends that continued over a number of years. They have not been verified. They are uploaded to this site to allow others to comment, question and/or correct.

For decades Wakefield resident Sarah Ekomiak has shared her language skills, gifts and stories enriching countless individuals particularly Inuit from outpost camps to Ottawa.This map dated 1949 shows Kuujjuarapik (Great Whale River ) where Scottish whaler Jimmy Fleming and his Inuk wife Rosie Fleming (1860s- 1930s) lived. Jimmy and Rosie had many children so Sarah has many close relatives in Kuujjuarapik today.

Sarah was born father north in the Umiujaq (Richmond Gulf) area in 1933. By 1943 when William Ekomiak was born, the family was already much farther south near Cape Jones on the coast across from the long island. By the 1950s the family was living near Chisasibi (Fort George). Grandfather Jimmy Ekoomiak Fleming wanted the children to get an education at the Anglican and Catholic schools in Chisasibi (Fort George) on James Bay.

When Sarah was in her late teens she was diagnosed with TB and sent to Moose Factory for four years.

Sarah Ekoomiak was born in 1933 in the area of Umiujaq (Richmond Gulf) on the stunning Hudson’s Bay coastline, north of Kuujjuarapik (Great Whale River). Richmond Gulf is just south of the tree line. The waters cut deeply into the land mass creating a large lake and a huge peninsula. The coast along Hudson’s Bay is fringed with a long chain of islands, the Nastapoka Islands. Sarah was only there in her early childhood but the mountain in Umiujaq was vaguely familiar to her.

Sarah’s great grandfather Jimmy Fleming was Scottish. He had bushy eyebrows like his son Jimmy Ekoomiak Fleming. He and his Inuk wife Rosie (1860s- 1930s) lived in Kuujjuarapik where their numerous descendants remain today. There are so many Flemings that the name Ekoomiak was added to prevent some confusion. Sarah has many close relatives in Kuujjuarapik and keeps in touch with her family there.

There is a powerful story told about Sarah’s great-grandmother Rosie Fleming who was a deeply spiritual woman. She learned about God from her husband but she felt alone in her beliefs since she did not feel she could talk about her conversion. Sarah was only a young child when great-grandmother Rosie died in the 1930s but she remembers the story of the strange phenomenon that appeared in the sky immediately after her great-grandmother’s death. Words written in the clouds appeared in a wide arch across the sky. Sarah and Willy explained the strange letters as Rosie’s message that she did not dare to speak while she was alive. In the early 1930s none of the Inuit there could read so only the Hudson’s Bay company man understood. He was so shaken by the words that converted from the Catholic to the Anglican religion . It was the only spiritual improvement he could think of! Towards the end of her life Great-grandmother Rosie lacked the strength and could no longer work as hard as she wanted. She couldn’t help others so she made a promise that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren would help others.

Sarah was the oldest of six children who were born of Charlie Ekomiak and Lucy Menarick in the camp of paternal grandfather Jimmie Ekomiak (Fleming) and his wife Annie. Like Sarah and Maggie, their grandmother Annie was a small woman. Jimmie Ekomiak (Fleming) was not tall either. He loved children and played with Sarah like a child would play.

In Sarah Ekoomiak’s early childhood years her family lived on the land in a small group of hunters, fishers and trappers.

Sarah was particularly fond of her paternal grandfather Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming (c.1885-1950s) who was camp leader. He seemed to have combined the Christian and traditional spirituality and values. Sarah still speaks of lessons learned from her grandfather that continue to guide her today. She has never been able to swear since he forbade it. Sarah’s childhood unfolded in camp life where adults never spoke in anger to each other or to the children. In her seventies she still carries with her his teachings on patient listening to the frustrations of others and responding thoughtfully rather than reacting impulsively. She remembers those early years where they had so little contact with others she used to think they were the only inhabitants of this land.

Her grandfather was a skilled hunter which meant that he made all his own hunting and fishing equipment and he shared his knowledge with his sons. He used to make cord for the dogsleds from seal skin with a special knife with a curved blade. When they had a successful hunt where they caught the largest seal, the bearded seal Sarah’s grandfather would use the skin to make the strongest ropes. He hung the rope between the trees to let them freeze. When they were frozen he cut it in even strips. He would use this rope to make snares for rabbit and beaver. Indians taught them how to hunt with traps.

Her grandfather knew how to make fish nets. He worked at making and repairing nets. They fished using nets from canoes in rivers, lakes and the Bay all year round. It was a long net with buoys, a piece of a floating wood. They caught white fish and trout and cod, small fish called kanayuk (sculpin). They used to fish in spring when ice cracks would open. They caught cod by jigging with a little stick for a handle. They caught cod by jigging. Sarah could also remember her father and grandfather using wood to cure dried meat from fox, muskrat and other small mammals. They would carve wood to fit the animal skin.

Sarah remembered her father wearing skin clothing so she bought the work of an urban Inuk painter who depicts traditional hunting scenes for her living room in Wakefield, Quebec. Sarah can remember wearing a rabbit skin parka when she was little. It was made by the Cree who often gave them gifts of food and clothing. The Indians used to make rabbit skin into strands and knit blankets out of them.

While Sarah was still just a child Grandfather Ekoomiak Fleming’s camp left Richmond Gulf and moved hundreds of miles moving south following the coast of Hudson Bay traveling on foot and by canoe and kayak. These are Sarah’s closest relatives whose children were like siblings to her. The Inuit families included the Menarick’s and Isaac Fleming’s with their children. There was not enough room in the boats so people took turns walking. The canoes and kayak remained close by just off shore. Sarah thinks these long walks in her early life explain why she loves walking so much today. They’d stop at night and set up tents. Sometimes they stopped along the way if the hunting was good. At that time when they were moving south there were only Inuit families in their camp.

Sarah can remember when the family first arrived in Kuujjuarapik. She and her little sister Annie who was two years younger than Sarah, were in the canoe. The first time Sarah saw the houses of Kuujjuarapik they were approaching by canoe. Annie expressed her surprise and delight at the red colour of the roof of HBC residence. See wikipedia entry.

Sarah remembers the stairs cut into the steep escarpment where an elderly couple, the Nero’s lived. Mr. Nero was a white man who was married to an Inuk lady, Grandfather Ekomiak Fleming’s step-sister. Mrs. Fleming wore a long dress with a nice apron while making bread. The smell of bread was strange to Sarah.

Sarah and Maggie were baptized in the Church depicted in this drawing from 1949. The church is now a museum.

For awhile they lived in a camp outside Kuujjuarapik in semi-tents with tree branches with moss between and a canvas on top. Spruce branches provided a floor. Her mother would change the branches often. Each family had their own tent. In theirs they had six children and their parents. The grandparents had their own tent. Sarah remembers these as happy years. Inuit laughed all the time. Inuit are good at telling stories. Kuujjuarapik was a laughing place to them.

Sarah was born during the good years when prices for fur were high. Hunters could have large dog teams. In the years leading up to WWII the European market for furs collapsed and Inuit all over the north found their credit with the HBC was no longer available. This combined with the scarcity of game and poor hunting conditions brought in years of hunger and in some regions, even starvation. Animals were scarce and sharing of food became a necessity as each family depended on each other for survival (see Patrick 2003:78-9).

In the fall there was no food because the sea was rough. Every fall it was a hard time to hunt. Sometimes they would catch enough seal or birds just before the worst times. Sarah can remember the periods of hunger when the men were away hunting. She told me this story several times. Most of the time, she would laugh about it but once there were tears in her eyes.

The men used to go away for two weeks at a time. All the men would go. The six children would stay behind with my mother. The children didn’t eat as well when the men were gone. Sometimes my mother would catch a rabbit. Sometimes she would fish. One time when my mother was going fishing, she told me to take care of Sammie. He was just a baby. This was before Willie was born. They only had a ptarmigan with very little meat. I was told to chew the food before giving it to Sammie. Instead I swallowed it. I didn’t mean to but I swallowed it.

Even though Sarah was only seven or eight at the time, she felt so bad about this incident that she remembered it vividly sixty years later. As she reminisced about these early years on the land in the 1930s and 1940s, she wondered that she was the same person! She sits beside the fireplace in a comfortable living room in La Peche, Quebec in an Ikea chair and tells her stories. She pulls herself up in the chair and leans forward, feigning surprise, she points to herself and declares, “They called me Stone Age !” She remembers as a young adult in Ottawa thinking back to her days on the land and wondering how her father and grandfather could find the trading post without a map!

When the ship came Grandfather Ekomiak Fleming bought a plaid material like that made into kilts by the Scottish people and a copper kettle for Grandmother Rosie. Grandmother Rosie made shawls out of the plaid material. She hung her copper kettle above a seal oil kudlik (a lamp carved from stone) to keep her tea water warm. She used cloth as a wick. In the morning it would be so cold and her father would make a fire in the morning.

Grandmother Rosie taught her how to make good boots because she told her she would need to know how to sew them. Willie said their Grandmother Annie wanted Sarah to make them perfectly the first time. Grandmother Fleming was very strict. She kept all her sewing tools wrapped in a loon skin. Eight-year old Sarah and her grand Aunt Dinah wanted to look at the sewing tools but they knew they weren’t supposed to.

Sarah spent more time with Grandmother Annie Ekoomiak because Sarah loved her Aunt Dinah whom she thought of as a sister. She really wanted Aunt Dinah to be her sister. They slept together at her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother told them to go to bed early and get up early or they would be lazy.

Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming was a fiddler and he taught his sons Charlie and Thomas. Thomas bought the fiddle from Eaton’s catalogue for $15.

Charlie Ekomiak knew how to make harnesses for dogs. He decorated the harnesses with wool. Sarah would make little boots for dogs using a square with a hole and sew them for the dogs’ feet to protect the dogs’ feet in the rough ice. Her father Charlie Ekoomiak was a good carver and he carved a doll for Sarah. One of her fondest memories of those good years of living on the land was that of being tucked into the nose of her father’s kayak. The kayak was so well-made; the skin so pulled so taut that it was translucid. She could see jellyfish, rocks, and fish. She cherishes this memory.

As they walked they would sometimes come upon ancient abandoned sites where ancient objects spoke of the people who had passed through here before. They found bones, weapons, the tops of tobacco tin cans recycled for oil lamps and even a narwhal tusk… This was the archives, the museum.

Some items, such as Old Sail tobacco, tea and flour, could only be acquired through the traders. Old Sail tobacco was sold in hard blocks. Sarah used to cut off small pieces and hide them as a treasure. When everyone ran out, she would go to her cache and surprise everyone with a treat! She remembers one of the older women looking up at a plane flying overhead and laughingly shouting at it, “Throw us some tobacco!” She sued to cut a little bit with her ulu. It was hard to cut. She used to hide flour. She used to say “Surprise!” Maybe that’s why she likes to still do that today. She used to love to see their faces so happy. Sometimes Indians would bring them things. One day a canoe with Indians came and her mother could understand them.

Sarah’s mother Lucie Menarik Ekomiak died prematurely shortly after an incident in which she dropped her young baby Willie. The infant was badly hurt. His wrist was bleeding and Willie can remember her mother crying very hard after this accident. Sarah was already in school at the time. S. thinks her mother had high blood pressure; she suffered from severe migraines.

It is impossible to link Lucie Menarik Ekomiak’s premature death to the social and economic conditions that contributed to the poor health of Inuit in general. But by the 1930s many Inuit were dependent on trade goods including some hunting supplies , and the HBC was no longer providing them with credit. Sarah’s family was among the first wave of Inuit from hundreds of smaller camps scattered across the north had begun to congregate in and around hamlets which gradually became artificial communities transforming many aspects of Inuit traditional life (Mitchell 1996:118). Some families, like the Weetaluk family who were close friends of Sarah’s grandparents resisted settling in the hamlets. Annie Weetaluk knew the genealogical history of Sarah’s family going back to the arrival of Jimmy Fleming.

The federal government had no policy to assist Inuit through lean years. Poverty and hunger led to a rise in tuberculosis and other diseases (Patrick 2003:80). The leanest years for Inuit communities began in the late 1930s and continued into the 1950s . The more skilled and resourceful hunters like those in Sarah’s camp probably fared better than others.

By1943 the family had already traveled over 150 miles by dogsled from Sarah’s birthplace in Richmond Gulf to Willie’s in Cape Jones on the coast across from Long Island. By the time Willie was ready for school they were living in Fort George where there were only two schools in the region, an Anglican and Catholic school both in Fort George. Jimmy Ekomiak Fleming wanted the children to attend school so he moved the camp south. They used to move often.

Sarah was the oldest of Jimmy and Lucie’s six children and she can remember carrying her youngest sibling, Willie Ekomiak, in her amautik. Willie was born in. He was a chubby baby and Sarah was a tiny person like her Grandmother Annie. She became like a mother to him until he was adopted by Aunt Martha and Uncle Thomas Ekoomiak. There were three or four camps together. Aunt Martha wore a shawl like many women of the time. Sarah can remember Willie crying so hard when he was a baby that he would turn blue. His Aunt Martha had to put cold water on his face to make him breathe again!

Their sister Emilie (b.1941) was also adopted out but she was not well cared for so Charlie Ekomiak got her back from Kuujjuarapik (Great Whale River). Emilie became William’s favourite playmate.

Sarah’s family, under the guidance of camp leader Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming, was the first Inuit family to come to the island community of Fort George. Grandfather Ekoomiak Fleming wanted Samie, Sarah, Willie, Maggie and Jeannie Ekoomiak Fleming and the other children from other Inuit families in their camp included the Menarick’s and Isaac Fleming’s children, to attend the schools that had recently opened on the island of Fort George. In an unusual act of reconciliation between the two competitive religions in the region, he decided to enroll some children in the Anglican school and the others in the Catholic school. Willie and Sarah went to the Anglican school. Maggie was sent to the Catholic school.

Sarah remembers that they lived beside the river. When Sarah was still quite young she remembers standing by a river and watching the river currents rushing towards the Bay. She remembered wishing out loud that she would travel far. Her wish came true.

Since the James Bay negotiation relationships between some Inuit and Cree may have become tense but there is a very long history of good relations between the Inuit and Cree. When Sarah was growing up she remembered how the Ekomiaks got along well with the Cree. They spoke Inuktitut at home and Cree outside. Now in her old community they speak three languages, English too. Sarah’s mother, Lucie Menarik could speak Cree. The Cree and Charlie Ekomiak camp got along well like a big family. The first time she went to Chisasibi Indians still lived in tents. She remembers them. Some are still living. Claude Querdl, 50-year-old Cree-Montagnais cab driver now working in Iqaluit, used to live in Chisasibi and he warmly remembered the Ekomiaks for their generosity.

The Ekomiaks and the Cree shared flour and food with each other. The Cree used to pull toboggans with all their hunting equipment. Her father had a komatik which is a traditional Inuit sled on runners pulled by dog teams. They shared whatever they had. The Cree seemed to like to hunt with Sarah’s father and grandfather. Sarah’s grandfather was a good and generous hunter and he taught his family to always share food .

In 1945 Sarah and her Aunt Jeannie were twelve years old and Aunt Dinah was thirteen. They were the first of the Grandfather Ekomiak Fleming’s children to attend school in Fort George. They were probably the first Inuit students there. The families remained in Cape Jones and the girls went to the St. Phillip’s residential school run by the Anglican Church on Fort George Island. The girls went home in the holidays by dogsleds. One year Sarah and Aunt Jeannie waited but the family didn’t come for her. Perhaps that was the year her mother died. Sarah received a letter from her Auntie Carolyn telling her that her mother had died. Sarah attended school for only four years and remembered little of the English that she learned there. Children did not attend school after they turned sixteen. Other students were surprised when Sarah left. “You’re finished already?”

Sarah’s mother was buried outside Kuujjuarapik, near the Kujjuak river. The place where she is buried is Louisa Fleming’s camp. Louisa’s son drowned near there and she still goes there whenever she can.

Sarah remembered when she was in her early teen years she and Willie were playing a game with pebbles. Their uncle Elijah Menarik, her mother Lucie’s youngest brother who was not much older than Sarah approached them. They wanted to play with him but it was hard to communicate because he spoke only Cree. Shortly after that a white teacher Mrs. Heinz, had Elijah sent to Inukjuak when he was 18 or 19 years old so he could learn Inuktitut!

Sarah’s life was irreversibly transformed by the tuberculosis epidemic that devastated all northern and remote communities Canada. When Sarah was diagnosed with TB in 1950 she was sent to Moose Factory. She was one of many family members exiled to either Moose Factory or Hamilton. By 1953 when Sarah was in Moose Factory, the largest year-round Inuit community in Canada was in Hamilton at the Mountain Sanatorium where 332 Inuit patients were being treated. There were 1,578 Inuit being treated in Canadian hospitals in 1953. That meant that 1 out of every seven Inuit was in a southern sanatorium. And one-third of the Inuit population of the 1950s was infected with TB. In some communities everyone has had TB at some time or another.

It was in Moose Factory that Sarah learned that she was able to do anything the decided she wanted to do. Even today when she decides to learn something new she just opens her arms to the world and says, “OK. I’ll try!”

This is how she learned to read and write in syllabics when she was a homesick teenager confined to a hospital bed,

When I was in the hospital I really wanted to write to my Dad. I was so close to my Dad. I asked the next bed lady, Can you help teach me how to write Inuktitut? She would write two letters [syllabics] on a paper. She gave it to me. I tried to read it for her. Then she gave me two more letters, then three, four letters. She’d write to me and I’d answer back. Then I started to write letters to my Dad.

Picture this determined little teenager passing sheets of paper from her bed to the next-bed lady, back and forth over the weeks. By the end of her first year in Moose Factory hospital Sarah was able to send letters home and read the letters sent from home. This special skill would help Sarah after she left the hospital and moved to Ottawa.

While in Moose Factory recovering from TB, Sarah spent almost four years in a hospital bed. From the Cree and Inuit women there she learned how to bead, how to sew, to write syllabics and to speak different dialects of Inuktitut. She continued to develop these skills throughout her life. Some of the beading work she does today is based on designs and templates learned from the women she met in Moose Factory.

In this photo taken in Moose Factory in 1953 when Sarah was twenty, Sarah is dressed like a cowgirl and is holding a toy cowboy and horse. Her auntie Caroline sent her many hand embroidered clothes like this blouse.

By 1954 when Sarah briefly returned home to Fort George-Chisasibi, the federal government had already begun to recognize responsibility for the well-being of the Inuit. In 1953, an admonished Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent admitted, “Apparently we have administered the vast territories of the north in an almost continuing absence of mind. (Parker 1996:32).” The government began to establish about forty permanent administrative centres to provide education, health and economic development services for Inuit (Parker 1996:32).

These were difficult years for the family. Sarah’s father had remarried and his wife had many children. Sarah wanted to contribute so she asked her father for permission to go back to Moose Factory to work so she could send them money. Her father agreed if she promised to never drink alcohol as he had seen the damaging effect of alcohol on many Inuit. Sarah promised and she and Maggie returned to work in Moose Factory for a few years. In the winter they used to walk back and forth across the ice between Moosonnee and the island community of Moose Factory in the middle of Moose River.

Grandfather Jimmie Ekoomiak Fleming was also diagnosed with TB but he came to the hospital after Sarah and Maggie had already left for Ottawa. He died and was buried in Moose Factory cemetery in the 1958. Sarah has often wondered about his grave site. In 2003 when she was over seventy years old, she and her good friend, Ben, made the trip from Wakefield to Moose Factory by car and train. They camped out on Moose Factory island and she caught a very bad cold! But she was unable to find the grave in the St. Thomas Anglican cemetery. It was unmarked.

When camps lost skilled hunters like Jimmy Ekomiak Fleming Inuit were forced to live closer to hamlets and to find other sources of income. In Fort George young William Ekomiak, who could already speak English and Inuktitut and Cree because he was one of the first Inuit to go to school, was offered work. The Indian Affairs clerk was so impressed that William could speak English when he was only 17 years old in 1960 that he hired him as a stores keeper and interpreter. He earned $300 for his job! He also worked as interpreter at the hospital.

In 1954 when Sarah and Maggie moved back to Moose Factory they both found work immediately. Sarah worked as a Nurses’s Aid and Maggie worked with a dentist. One day Maggie overheard a conversation between two nurses. One of them had gone on vacation to Montreal and Ottawa. Maggie came to Sarah and announced, “I am going to Ottawa!” Sarah asked her, “Where’s Ottawa?” Maggie answered shrugging her shoulders, I don’t know!” So they bought their train tickets and headed south! Telling her story today, Sarah laughs in astonishment, “We’re going to Ottawa! We couldn’t speak English! The nerve!”

When twenty-five year old Sarah and her younger sister Maggie first arrived in Ottawa in 1958 they stayed with their uncle Elijah Menarick and his wife Grace for a few weeks. After several weeks Gracie found a social worker to work with Maggie and Sarah to help them find work and a place to stay. They both began working as au pair’s. Maggie worked with a doctor’s family taking care of the house and the children. Sarah first worked with a Jewish family but they found it too difficult because she couldn’t speak English. So Sarah began working with the Clark family who were Irish. The Clarks had two children, Gary and Mona and Sarah took care of them and did the housework. Sarah loved the name Gary so much that she named her own son Gary when he was born many years later. Sarah worked there for two years but in 1960 she was again offered the possibility of an adventure. Mr. and Mrs. Clark didn’t want Sarah to go. But once she had decided to do something nothing would hold her back.

One day Annie Weetaluk came to visit Sarah when she was working at the Clark’s. Annie announced to Sarah, “I am going to work this summer on the ship. Do you want to come with us?” Sarah thought to herself, “I don’t speak enough English!” Annie had her answer ready, “I know you and I know you can do it! You know Rhoda , don’t you?” Sarah knew Rhoda because they worked together in Moose Factory. Annie assured her, If Rhoda can do it you can!” So Sarah said, “OK, I’ll try!” In the same year Sarah began working on the C. D. Howe. She now admits, “My first trip I couldn’t make it very well. I couldn’t understand English. That was a good job I ever had.”

In the 1990s Sarah made the long trip home to Kuujjuarapik. She visited Annie Weetaluk’s grave and thanked her for convincing her to take the job on the C. D. Howe, the best job she’d ever had!

While working on the C. D. Howe Sarah lived in Ottawa in the fall and winter. But for six years her home from July to September was on the on board the ship that visited numerous Inuit outpost camps and hamlets. She worked both trips each year except for the year Gary was born.

Iqa Qamanirq who now works in Ottawa at the Family Services Centre could remember seeing Sarah in the early 1960s when her family lived on the land outside of Arctic Bay. Iqa was afraid of the helicopter but the whole medical trip was a big adventure. She remembered her mother making sets of clothing and kamiks especially for these yearly checkups. As soon as they heard the plane the children were called to come and wash their hair and get dressed as if they were going to a party or going to town!

Sarah has many memories of these trips. In one place a grateful Inuk wanted to give her a narwhale tusk as a gift. She didn’t think there was enough room on the helicopter so she had to decline. She laughs now since she knows it is worth about $5000! Sarah continued working every summer offering happily to work both tours until 1966 when Gary was born. Meeka was born in 1968?

When Sarah returned to Ottawa in September of 1960 after her first two tours on the C. D. Howe, she was given jobs at the Department of Northern Resources. Not long after she had come back to Ottawa Sarah was sent on an emergency trip to a Montreal hospital to act as interpreter for a patient evacuated from Nunavik for a medical emergency. She describes this harrowing experience of a young Inuk in her twenties newly arrived in the city. They told her she was the only one in the Ottawa-Montreal area who could interpret Inuktitut-English with the Nunavik Inuktitut!

There’s a doctor in Montreal who needs a translator who needs a translator. I could hardly speak English. I took a train from Ottawa to Montreal. Then I took the subway. I took the subway back and forth three times! I said,

“’Forget it!’ I took a taxi! O my God! Poor me! Gee Whiz!

She describes how she had to learn to type using one of the first type writers with syllabics! She learned how to translate from the Labrador script into syllabics and English!

She put it simply,

“They put me to type. They put me to translate.”

Her response as usual was, “OK. I’ll try!”

When Sarah first came to Ottawa she was part of a small handful of Inuit there. Sarah worked on some of the very first issues of this popular magazine which was published in Inuktitut syllabics as well as the alphabet and in English. Sarah learned to type with a specially designed typewriter , one of the first with syllabics. Mary Paneegoosilk began the first Inuktitut magazine, a publication put out by the Department intended for Inuit all across the north. It was a small magazine. Then Harriet Rustton, an Inuk from Kudjuaq started the Inuktitut magazine with the larger format which had room for Inuktitut syllabics, Labrador Inuktitut and English. Sarah did the translation for
Inuktitut magazine for a number of years. She continued to work as interpreter/translator for many years.

The 1960s was the decade many First Nations, Métis and Inuit would later infamously label “the sixties scoop.” Young women were encouraged to give their children for adoption to non-aboriginal families with the promise of a better life and a better future for their children. Maria Fleming, Sarah’s cousin was one of these young women. Sarah has a phenomenal memory and can remember chance encounters decades later at the appropriate moment! She could remember seeing Maria in Ottawa when she was pregnant. This was an image she could share forty years later when Sarah met Maria’s daughter who was actively seeking out her birth family. Sarah was the first Inuk relative Maria’s daughter met. This resulted in a long road trip together to Fort George where Sarah introduced her to the large family that was her family and walked with her along the trails her mother would have walked. Unfortunately Maria had died just the year before her daughter began her search. Sarah remains in close contact with Maria’s daughter today (see Inuktitut 2004). During the sixties Sarah had non-Inuit friends and co-workers who adopted Inuit children from the hamlets.

Through the 1960s and 1970s many Inuit came to join Elijah, Sarah, Anne, Maggie and the few Inuit who were among that first wave of urban Inuit. Their numbers began to increase as many Inuit, First Nations and Métis moved to urban areas in the 1960s and 1970s. In the mid-1960s twenty-one year old Willie Ekomiak, his step-brother Norman Ekomiak and their friend Johnny Weetaluk came to Ottawa to attend school . Willie and Norman began to attend dances, picnics and beach parties hosted by the International Club which the Baha’is of Ottawa had initiated since the nation’s capital attracted people from all over the world. When Willie decided to become a Baha’i he became the first Inuk worldwide to join creating much excitement in the national and even international Baha’i communities. The news of his adherence to the Baha’i Faith was not warmly accepted in his home community which was staunchly Christian . Willie’s father, Charlie Ekomiak seemed to be more accepting of his son’s choice. For many years Sarah as well was not sure exactly what Willie had joined. Today she has many friends in the Baha’i community who have won her trust and deep affection. Gradually she became somewhat reassured that her baby brother was not threatened by being a Baha’i.

By 1969 Sarah’s second baby Gary was just a toddler. This is when she met the love of her life with whom she shared her happiest years. Even today almost ten years after his death, Sarah’s face lights up when she speaks of Paul. Paul Hamelin was from Hull, Quebec. She was 36 years old and he was 50. He was divorced and had already raised a family. Sarah, Paul and Gary lived in a house just outside the village of Wakefield, Quebec where Sarah still lives today. They built their house together. Their relationship was always one of mutual respect where Sarah truly lived the principle of equality. She was used to working hard in camp life. Even though she was physically tiny, she enjoyed physical work and she could chop wood as easily as any man. Paul was a kind, good father to Gary. After his retirement they took numerous long-distance trips including visits to her Nunavik home which was connected to the south since the James Bay project was in place.

When Sarah stopped going on the northern tours on the C.D. Howe she didn’t stop traveling for the Department. She worked with a social worker and they drove to many different hospitals, to Parry Sound, Windsor, Stittsville . . The social worker had a car and they drove from hospital to hospital visiting unilingual Inuit, consulting with them and the medical staff to ensure they were getting the best hospital care in the most suitable hospital setting. One day decades later Sarah and Willie were performing at one of the Inuit Art Foundation’s Qaggit gatherings. Willie was playing the fiddle and Sarah was playing the spoons. A young man came up to Sarah and told her that he remembered her from the 1970s when she came to visit him when he was a patient in a hospital. Sarah came with a social worker and the man who was only a young child at the time remembered Sarah very well. Sarah meets people like this grateful young man all the time. They remember her even if she cannot remember them. Her language skills and calming presence gave them a brief sense of security in situations that were unsettling and isolating.

Sarah continued working at interpreter for the DIANR where her work was greatly appreciated. She has a collection of mementos which include letters from ministers and Deputy Minister’s (such as Arthur Kroeger ) congratulating her on the quality of her translations. She was invited frequently to attend events including a ball organized by the Governor General. She was asked to speak on Inuit art and culture.

By 1978 the Department moved to its headquarters in Hull on Laurier. The building had some kind of environmental toxins and Sarah knew women who worked there and miscarried. Sarah herself lost a baby through miscarriage while working in that building. Sarah is known for her accepting nature. She rarely complains although she uses laughter often to comment on situations that are ludicrous. However, in her relations with the Department in the 1970s, she knows that she was denied certain rights simply because she was Inuk. This is unusual for Sarah to mention this so it accentuates how strongly she feels about social justice. Other women who miscarried at the same time because of toxins in the Laurier complex were eventually compensated. She was not. When she left, her boss, Mr. M, a renowned scientist who still works for the government, refused to sign her papers so she could claim her unemployment insurance. She has never forgotten that missing $400! She explains it today,

“You know me. I don’t speak. I don’t bother. When I quit, I didn’t get my UI because I was Inuk.”

She does receive a small pension from the Department for her years of service.

When Sarah could no longer work for the Department Paul who had retired from his job at the Mint began to work again in 1979. For eight years Sarah and Paul worked for Canada Post delivering mail to rural area in Quebec. He and Sarah took the contract to deliver mail in rural Quebec Paul was working at the Mint. Paul didn’t work then. In 1979 they worked for post office for eight years. They were so much appreciated that when their contract was not renewed, people complained! They had a meeting to try to make them keep on working.

Before Paul became too sick to travel, he used to drive Sarah to hospitals where she knew she could unilingual Inuktitut-speakers. Sometimes they would drive to airports to see if there were any Inuit stranded there. On one of their trips they saw renowned Inuit artist Pitseolak Ashoona alone in a hospital outside of Montreal . Pitseolak was so depressed she told Sarah to take her ulu since she had no use for it anymore.

On another trip they saw an elderly Inuk who had been stranded for 48 hours at the airport. She had been sent out from her hamlet to attend a meeting but no one met her at the airport and there were no arrangements. She didn’t even know how to find the washroom. She grabbed Sarah’s hands in relief!

Paul was already starting to get sick.

“Doctor opened him. His lungs and heart were covered with tar. The doctor scraped it off. This gave him five more years. He wasn’t really sick but he was weak.”

Paul was a heavy smoker and nicotine is another of Sarah’s few enemies. Paul died in 1990. He spared Sarah the worry of his cancer and didn’t tell her even though she could see he was getting very weak.

“He was only sick for a few months. He had cancer and he didn’t tell me. He lost weight very fast.”

Sarah was younger than Paul and even though she was tiny she was and is very strong. Maybe it was from the healthy living on the land in her early years. Sarah proudly shows a photo of a huge pile of wood for their wood stove in the yard of their home just outside Wakefield. She admits that Paul’s sisters wondered at Sarah working so hard but Sarah explained,

“I used to enjoy splitting wood!”

When Paul died in 1990 Sarah became very ill with grief. A dear friend took Sarah on a trip to Venezuela for two weeks. She walked on the beaches and gathered so many sea shells that the Customs Officer raised his eyebrows in surprise. She still has these sea shells in the craft shed Paul built for her many years ago.

Shortly after Paul died Sarah underwent an operation for intestinal blockage. She was living alone in her little house on a wooded lane outside Wakefield. One day the phone rang. A young woman on the other end of the line said,

“Hello. My name is Catherine Louise.”

Sarah asked, “Who?”
And the young voice repeated,

“Catherine Louise.”

Sarah described,

“I started to scream Where are you? My soreness, my weakness were better very fast.”

Meeka said,

“J. and E. changed my name to Meeka when I was baptized.”

A social worker told me that they would name the baby Catherine Louise in case I was looking for her or she was looking for me. Meeka was in Grace Hospital. Meeka liked to tell the story about how her adoptive parents chose her. They were just about to take to little boy because they already had lots of toys and things for a little boy and then and they saw Meeka and they changed their mind. They are a very nice couple. Meeka said,

“Nobody could have a better mother than Jackie. I’m not sorry you gave me away.”

Meeka used to write her a lot of letters before she had her own baby Julien in 1999.

Sarah’s son Gary had two children. His first partner Jennifer had a baby boy, R. who is now 8. C. had a little girl, G. who will be two and a half on June 28th.

In more recent years Sarah continued to share her stories and language skills informally at the Inuit Family Services in Vanier, when her grandson Ryan attended the day care. Staff there truly enjoyed her visits.

She and Willie are often asked to perform together at celebratory events related to Inuit culture. Although she usually accompanies Willie’s old-time fiddle music by playing the spoons, she can still play the accordion! She has also come to Carleton University to present her beadwork.

Karen Needham’s ex-partner Ben became very fond of Sarah and his new Inuit family ever since he met her in the early 1990s. Since then he has taken Sarah on many trips including the lengthy journey to Kuujjuarapik. When they were there Sarah visited her mother’s grave site. They drove as far as they could then they took a small plane and finally a boat to reach the spot where her mother died over sixty years ago.

Among the indigenous people living today, Inuit probably stand alone in having peacefully achieved so many political, economic and social gains through negotiation with the government authorities they live under. But alongside these successes are the painful stories of governmental meddling and mistakes. In Sarah’s family there are countless stories of individuals who have made courageous choices which helped to bring about positive change. At the same time, Sarah is constantly hearing from home about stories of young people who have committed suicide, or even murder.

In the summer of 2004, in her seventies Sarah Ekoomiak went on a marathon trip with Ben the fireman, to Marathon near Thunder Bay, Moose Factory. She camped outside in Moose Factory and caught a very bad cold. She tried to find her grandfather’s grave but couldn’t.

Sarah continues to create beautiful dolls, kamiks, beading. Sarah began to learn to sew as a very young child with her Grandmother. But she greatly admired two women relatives who were renowned locally for their skills. Her second cousin Gracie and her cousin Dinah Fleming was known for their skills. Sarah used to watch them sewing. Her cousin Gracie told Sarah that she could copy her patterns because she liked the way Sarah worked. She gave her patterns. Gracie was so much appreciated by her family for her skill that her gravestone is decorated with engraved images of her sewing tools. In all her years working Sarah never stopped sewing and beading. She continues to work today while waiting for her operations to remove cataracts to improve her sight! Recently she surprised a friend with a pair of sealskin mittens. She had never made them before but when she saw her dear friend Ben attempt a pair she thought she could do better than that! She said to herself, “OK. I’ll try it!” She also made a beautiful pair of slippers using beaded tongues that were made in the 1950s! Sarah sells her tiny kamiks in stores like the Inuit Art Foundation. She had also made dolls in traditional clothing. Her hands are never idle.

1820 The Hudson’s Bay Company established their trading post at Kuujjuarapik and named it Great Whale River. Kuujjuarapik has a long history of contact with the whalers and missionaries. The Hudson’s Bay Company’s Great Whale River was involved in the fur trade, commercial whaling and the processing of whale products. Today Great Whale River refers to the three sections of the region: Poste-de-la-Baleine, the predominately French settlement, Kuujjuarapik on the north shore of the Kuujuaq (big) river and Whapmagoostui, the Cree community, beside Kuujjuarapik inland from the Hudson Bay (see Patrick 2003:22).

1837 The HBC had a post in Fort George (Mailasikkut) since 1803 which was moved to Governor’s or Fort George Island. Chisasibi, where many of Sarah’s relatives live today, is Cree for “great river”, officially known as La Grande River through the infamous project (see Patrick 2003:84).

1856 Two Anglican Church Missionary Society members working in the Hudsons’ Bay region, John Horden, at Moose Factory, and E. A. Watkins at Fort George, were producing material in syllabics for Inuit. Watkins noted in his diary of June 19, 1856, that an Inuit youth from Little Whale River wanted to learn syllabics very much so he worked with Watkins. Horden in Moose Factory and Watkins collaborated on producing some Bible selections in Inuktitut.

1865 John Horden and Watkins met in London worked together to modify the Cree syllabic system to the Inuktitut language. The syllabic orthography was very easy to learn that and this enabled the Anglican Church to proselytize successfully over such a wide area of the Arctic. Inuit taught each other. With the assistance of well-traveled native assistants who worked with Peck, Bilby and Greenshield at Blacklead Island, and with Bilby and Fleming at Lake Harbour, a large number of Inuit who had never met a missionary nonetheless had access to the Bible and were able to read it in syllabics. Two of the best-known native assistants were Luke Kidlapik and Joseph Pudloo. As a boy Joseph Pudloo had learned syllabics in Reverend Fleming’ s senior class in Lake Harbour. Later he became Fleming’s sled driver, taking the missionary thousands of miles on visits to Inuit camps. After that he spent two years working with the Reverend B.P. Smith at Baker Lake, the first native assistant to work in a dialect markedly different from his own.

c.1860s Rosie Fleming (c.1860s- c.1930s), Sarah Ekoomiak’s great-great-grandmother was born. She married Scottish whaler Jimmy Fleming and they lived Kuujjuarapik where they had many children. Sarah has many close relatives in Kuujjuarapik. Sarah’s great grandfather Jimmy Fleming was Scottish. He had bushy eyebrows like his son Jimmy Ekoomiak Fleming.

1876 Reverend Peck established the first permanent Christian mission in Inuit territory at Little Whale River near Richmond Gulf.

1880 The Indian Affairs Department was established. “Since Confederation, the responsibility for Indian Affairs and Northern Development rested with various government departments between 1873 and 1966. The minister of the Interior also held the position of Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs after the Indian Affairs Department was established in 1880.” INAC WWW,

1882 An Anglican mission was established in Kujjuarapik in 1882 and a Catholic mission in 1890.

1884 Reverend Peck established a mission at Fort Chimo, Kuujuak, to help Reverend Sam Stewart who established the second mission in Inuit territory.

1885? Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming c.1885-1950s was born? He died when he was 65? He became a Christian. He was not tall. Jimmie Ekoomiak loved children. He played with Sarah like a child would play. Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming was a fiddler and he taught his sons Charlie and Thomas. Thomas bought the fiddle from Eaton’s catalogue for $15. His father, a traveller, Jimmy Fleming b. 1830s?1860s? was Scottish or English more likely Scottish perhaps with prominent eyebrows like Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming.,

1887-1905 Frederick Haultain, a Conservative, was premier of the Northwest Territories. Sir Wilfred Laurier was Prime Minister. Haultain was born in England and came to Canada when he was three. He discouraged party politics and believed in consensus. (Parker 1996:25).

1890s, early 1900s The catechist Reverend Fleming traveled thousands of miles with Joseph Pudloo visiting Inuit camps, teaching syllabics along with their missionary work for the Anglican Church Missionary Society.

1905 Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick White of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was named Commissioner of the Northwest Territories. He made decisions unilaterally. He never once called together the Territorial Council. (Parker 1996:26.)

1912a The boundaries of the Northwest Territories were set at the boundaries in existence in 1992. (Parker 1996:26).

1912b Quebec was expanded to include Arctic Quebec. (Parker 1996:26).

1914 Charlie Ekomiak 1914-1960s? was born. He was the father of Sarah Ekoomiak b.1933, Annie b.1935, Maggie b.1937, Sam b.1939, Emily b.1941, William Ekomiak b.1943 Charlie Ekomiak married Lucie Menarik when he was 18 years old c. 1932. After Lucie Menarik died in 1944 Charlie remarried. Jimmie Ekomiak Fleming was a fiddler and he taught his sons Charlie and Thomas. Thomas bought the fiddle from Eaton’s catalogue for $15.,

1920s early According to d’Anglure in the early 1920s there were eighty shamans in the greater Igloolik area which included North Baffin to Repulse Bay region. This included fourteen women. By the 1940s all had converted to Christianity. Thirty were still alive in the 1970s. Today their names are alive through their children (d’Anglure 2002:209).

1924 Amendment to Indian Act 14-15 Geo. V Chap. 47 bringing Eskimos under the responsibility of the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs.,

1926 Thirteen Inuit starved to death at an outpost camp in Admiralty Inlet. Tester 1993:21,

1930 Canadian Handicrafts Guild organized an exhibition of Eskimo Arts and Crafts at the McCord Museum in Montreal. The exhibition attracted the attention of the New York Times (Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec 1980:11).

1930s Reverend Nelson was the minister in the area before the minister came who taught Jimmie Fleming.

1933 Sarah was born in the Umiujaq (Richmond Gulf) area. At the time it was an outpost camp. Umiujaq formed into a community in the 1960s when 150 Inuit moved away from Kuujjuarapik to attempt to maintain a more traditional lifestyle (see Patrick 2003). Sarah was the oldest Charlie Ekomiak and Lucy Menarick’s six children all in the camp of paternal grandfather Jimmie Ekoomiak (Fleming) and his wife Annie.

1930s There is a powerful story told about Sarah’s great-grandmother Rosie Fleming who was a deeply spiritual woman. She learned about God from her husband but she felt alone in her beliefs since she did not feel she could talk about her conversion. Sarah was only a young child when great-grandmother Rosie died in the 1930s but she remembers the story of the strange phenomenon that appeared in the sky immediately after her great-grandmother’s death. Words written in the clouds appeared in a wide arch across the sky. Sarah and Willy explained the strange letters as Rosie’s message that she did not dare to speak while she was alive. In the early 1930s none of the Inuit there could read so only the Hudson’s Bay company man understood. He was so shaken by the words that converted from the Catholic to the Anglican religion . It was the only spiritual improvement he could think of! Towards the end of her life Great-grandmother Rosie lacked the strength and could no longer work as hard as she wanted. She couldn’t help others so she made a promise that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren would help others.

1933-43? In Sarah Ekoomiak’s early childhood years her family lived on the land in a small group of hunters, fishers and trappers.

1943 William Ekomiak was born. Grandfather Jimmy Ekoomiak Fleming moved the camp farther south near Cape Jones on the coast across from the long island.

c.1950? When Sarah was in her late teens she was diagnosed with TB and sent to Moose Factory for four years. Inuit from the west coast of James Bay used to go to Moose Factory trading post to pick up mail.

1950s Grandfather Jimmy Ekoomiak Fleming moved the camp near Chisasibi (Fort George). He wanted the children to get an education at the Anglican and Catholic schools in Chisasibi (Fort George) on James Bay.

1950s. Artificial communities formed. Inuit traditional way of life, ideology and economy was changed. Most lived in communities around the trading post and church. Economy: Trade: white fox, subsistence hunting now dependent on guns, etc. Religion: Church vigorously converted Inuit to Christianity. There was competition except in Labrador (Mitchell 1996). Eskimo Cooperative Movement: crucial transforming agency linked traditional practices with Western capitalism. The Eskimo cooperative was state initiated. Coops bridged the gap between the communal/cooperative ideal and the individual/competitive model. Inuit sculptors became simple-commodity producers with more talented carvers earning more. Carvers could earn more money but they became dependent on dollars. This created divisions among Inuit. Some Inuit became bosses, while others became employees. See Mitchell (1996). A Native Ruling Class: Inequalities in wealth and power exist (Mitchell 1996).

1952. William Ekoomiak (b.1943) started school in Fort George. Queen Elizabeth II crowned and William remembered finding it strange to sing to a woman not God Save the King! Sarah Ekoomiak was already in Moose Factory?

1953a. The Canadian government relocated Inuit families Inukjuak area of Quebec on Hudson Bay to the High Arctic islands to form communities: Grise Fjord on Ellesmere Island, Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island and Craig Harbour. Tester and Kulchyski (1994) claim that the relocations took place partly to relieve the HBC of their obligation to continue extending credit to already heavily indebted Inuit (1994:64). (William Ekomiak’s sister Ida was adopted by Emily Ekomiak who married Walter Aoudla from south of Fort George. After Emily died Walter married a woman from Resolute Bay and he moved there with William’s sister Ida.) A couple of families from the Pond Inlet area of North Baffin Island were moved to these same places to help the southern relocatees adjust to eco-systems and conditions very different from those they had known in Quebec. James Houston accompanied Inuit families from Inukjuak when they sailed north to Ellesmere Island. Akiaktasuk, one of the earliest Inuit artists recognised for his skill as carver was among them. Akiaktasuk died out there in a walrus hunt. It is not surprising considering the difference in hunting environments between the High Arctic and Hudson Strait. Among the families sent to Resolute Bay was the family of Pitseolak Ashoona who had returned to Cape Dorset in ???? because Ashoona had just died in Natsilik Lake area to find that her family were gone!

1953b. The federal Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources was formed in Ottawa. An intergovernmental committee on Eskimo Affairs was reinstated (Crowe 1997:34).
1953c1954. There was mounting criticism of the Eastern Arctic Division and services for Inuit (Grygier 1994:190).

1954-1956-7(?). Sarah went back home to Nunavik for awhile in 1954. She asked her father Charlie Ekomiak if she could go back to Moose Factory to work. Her father said she could if she promised to never drink alcohol because alcohol hurt Inuit. Sarah promised and she Sarah and Maggie went back to work in Moose Factory for a few years. Inuit laughed all the time. Inuit are good at telling stories. Kuujjuarapik was a laughing place to them. Sarah and Maggie walked back and forth across the ice between Moosenee and Moose Factory. Sarah knew Lucille, Jimmy Small’s wife. Jimmy Small was Quebec Cree. His children Brenda and ? are very successful. His son was Chief of the Swampy Cree. I met Jimmy Small and his son in the summer of 2001when I was teaching with the Off-Campus Aboriginal program.

1956b. Life magazine did a story entitled “Stone Age Survivors: Eskimo Family” (1956) which was later published as a chapter in Epic of Man entitled “Stone Age Cultures of Today” (1961). Luke Anowtelik and Mary Akjar were featured in this story as Anowtelik and Iya. They had been relocated from the famine-ridden interior like others who had been relocated to Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove. Anowtelik had become one of the most prolific and respected hunters of Arviat. Their lives had changed dramatically. They now had TV, fridge, motor boat, electric stove. Art-making and wage-earning have become the new way of life. Anowtelik’s antler swivel figures and the male toy heads are widely imitated. Artists there like to work in groups. He remembers carving a drum dancer when he lived at Ennadai Lake, Drum dancing was common then and it was natural to make up new songs to perform. Since leaving Ennadai Lake not one new song was written. He and his wife carved together. They share their ideas because they are husband and wife. He likes stone and antler. At one time antler was very popular. In one of her carvings Mary Akjar pronounced Iya represents the Inuit family. In talking about it she spoke of her earlier life at Ennadai Lake.

1956c. A wave of southern social workers, economic development staff, mechanics, construction workers joined missionaries, the RCMP and the HBC bringing about an onslaught of unwelcome changes along with a redistribution of power relationships changing roles and status in Inuit communities (Crowe 1997:35).

1956 (?). Grandfather Jimmy Ekomiak Fleming (1880s-1956) was diagnosed with TB, sent to Moose Factory where he died in 1956 (?). He is buried in the St. Thomas Anglican cemetery in an unmarked grave. Sarah Ekoomiak visited the graveyard in 2004 with her good friend Ben but could not find a marker. Jimmie Ekoomiak Fleming died when Sarah and Maggie were in Ottawa. Her maternal (?) grandmother died in 1947 (?). Aunt Carolyn wrote Sarah a letter when her grandmother died. She didn’t know how old she was.

1957. By the late 1950s most Inuit were still hunting, fishing and gathering. They earned money from casual work such as handymen, cooks or guides and were already dependent on southern manufactured items (Mitchell 1996:117).

1959. The first Inuit cooperative was founded at George River. They ran a small commercial fishing and lumbering operation with Canadian government support. Until that time the only access to trade had been the Hudson’s Bay Company who had enjoyed almost complete monopolistic control granted by a Royal Charter in 1670. Originally many of the Hudson’s Bay factors were of Scottish descent.

1960s-a. In the late 1960s the adult education staff of the NA & NR started regional newspapers edited by Tagak Curley, Zebedee Nungak and Joanisie Salomonie. These provided a forum for discussions of self-government and settlements claims (Crowe 1997 Inuktitut :38).
1960s-b. 1960s-70s. Migration of Aboriginal people to urban areas grew in 1960s and 1970s. (Jackson 1993:58);.

1963a. Annie Ekomiak (b.1935-1963) was sent to get water and she fell through the ice and drowned. Annie was challenged intellectually. Willie was upset that she was asked to do something that was too difficult and therefore dangerous for her.

1963b. William Ekomiak and Samuel studied electricity in Winnipeg and they both became electricians. William did not complete the certificate but Samuel did. William told the government he did not want to join the army.

1965a. “The Indian Art Centre of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) is a federal cultural program that supports and promotes the visual arts of First Nations in Canada. The Centre was created in 1965 to support the development of Aboriginal artists working in the traditional art forms, as well as those working in the contemporary fine arts including painting, drawing, print making, sculpture and photography. The Indian Art Centre includes the National Indian Art Collection, an exhibition and loan program, an artist-in-residence program, a Resource Library and the Indian and Inuit Art Gallery http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/art/auqs_e.html .”

1965b. Willie Ekoomiak (21) became a Baha’i in Ottawa when he came south to go to school through the Irwin’s. The Irwin’s took Willie and Norman to International Club where people from different backgrounds came together. This was unusual. The Baha’is initiated the International Club which held dances, swims, picnics. Ottawa was a stopping place for many people because it was the capital of Canada. Willie went to their homes and he saw the photo Abdul Baha he asked about him. Baha’i youth used to travel teach and they came to Irwin home and they talked about the return of Jesus Christ. Willie had not understood what Lillian Irwin before when she talked about Baha’i. He was 21 years old. He was the first Inuk to become a Baha’i. Johnny Weetaluktuk (b.1930s) also became a Baha’i at the Baha’i school at Beau Lac. Baha’i world was excited about two Inuit becoming Baha’is. National sent a cable gram to UHJ and the UHJ responded welcoming Willie and Johnny into the Faith. Johnny Weetaluktuk married a woman in Iqaluit, worked at a mining camp and became inactive.

1966a. During Prime Minister Pearson’s term of office (1963-8) the post of Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was created. Arthur Laing was the first minister. The minister Arthur Laing and Commissioner Sivertz agreed the vote should be extended to the entire Northwest Territories not just the Mackenzie District. (Parker 1996:50)” There was a Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs in the Canadian cabinet from 1867 until 1936 when the Minister of Mines and Resources became responsible for native affairs. In 1950 the Indian Affairs branch was transferred to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who had responsibility for “registered Indians” until the creation of the position of Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1966. Before 1966 the Northern Development portions of the portfolio were the responsibility of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources.” Wikipedia.

1966b. June 16, 1966 – Government Organization Act established the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development which was to be responsible for the development of National Parks, the administration of Indian and Eskimo affairs, and the management of Canada’s wildlife resources. Control and supervision of the Indian Affairs Branch, with associated powers and duties under the Indian Act, transferred to DIAND from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (P.C. 19652285) . The five Branches created within DIAND were: Northern Administration; National and Historic Parks; Indian Affairs; Canadian Wildlife Service; and Resource and Economic Development Group. The Honourable Arthur Laing, P.C., M.P., was appointed Minister and Mr. E.A. Cote was appointed Deputy Minister. Nine Regional Offices existed at this time: Maritimes Office in Amherst, Nova Scotia; Quebec Office in Quebec City; South Ontario Office in Toronto; North Ontario Office in North Bay; Manitoba Office in Winnipeg; Saskatchewan Office in Regina; Alberta Office in Edmonton; District of Mackenzie Office in Fort Smith, North West Territories; British Columbia Office in Vancouver; and, Yukon Office in Whitehorse.

1967a. The Canadian Eskimo Arts Council which included as members Doris Shadbolt, took on the major task of organizing and executing the first major international exhibition of Inuit art, Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic (Staples 1992:27). In 1964 she became curator and in 1967 she was acting director. The Arts of the Raven, an exhibition of over 450 Northwest Coast Indian masterworks with a $70,000 budget, that attracted international attention opened on the same evening the new director Tony Emery arrived.

1967b. “DIAND physically reorganized with increased responsibility moved to regional offices as part of the Department’s decision to make the Indian Affairs Branch more accessible to native people and to hire more native people in the Regions, to assist in the development of self-government on Reserves. Reorganization of DIAND created the Social Affairs Program which consisted of the Education Branch (bringing together the Education Divisions of Indian Affairs and Northern Administration Branches), and the Operations Branch (former Administrative directorate of the IA Branch). Corps of Community Workers were created within the Indian Affairs Branch Community Development program and Indian Liaison Officers were recruited. The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Indian Affairs Branch was Mr. R.F. Battle with Mr J.W. Churchman serving as Director, Indian Affairs.” http://collections.ic.gc.ca/treaties/text/rec_e_tx.htm .

1967c. Minister of DIAND Arthur Laing announced the federal response to the Carruther’s Report in a meeting in Yellowknife. Yellowknife would be the new capital of the Northwest Territories.

1968-73. Jean Chretien was Minister of Northern Affairs.

1969b. Willie Ekomiak came south again. Re: Sarah Ekoomiak.

1970s-b. William Ekomiak helped build Baha’i House in Baker Lake. Re: Sarah Ekoomiak.

1970s-c. William Ekomiak was an electrician in Yellowknife. Re: Sarah Ekoomiak.

1971a. The Inuit Quebec Association was formed.

1971b. Inuit Tapirisat was formed.

1973a. “August 8 : as a result of a policy review, the Minister, Jean Chrétien, announced a new policy on comprehensive claims settlement in non-treaty areas of Canada entitled, “Statement on Claims of Indian and Inuit People”. With the policy, DIAND accepted comprehensive and specific claims and agreed to deal with both, preferably reaching negotiated settlements.” http://collections.ic.gc.ca/treaties/text/rec_e_tx.htm.

1973b. Burland (1973) described contact between caribou Inuit, “The Eskimos who were the most remote from the normal way of life were the Caribou Eskimos of Keewatin. These people lived like late Palaeolithic hunters of the last Ice Age. Fortunately for our understanding they were sought out in the early part of the twentieth century by Canadian ethnologists who have given us a very full series of studies of their way of life. It was fortunate also for the Caribou Eskimo because they were now known to the Canadian authorities, and visited occasionally (Burland 1973:68).

1973c. Sarah Ekoomiak and Harriet Ruston of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development provided the Eskimo text for the publication entitled Pitseolak: Pictures out of My Life.

1973-5. William Ekomiak was in Iqaluit working at the Baha’i House. He helped build it. He stayed in Frobisher Bay he worked as electrical engineer starting motors when they broke down.

1974. The Northern Quebec Inuit Association (NQIA), a voluntary citizens’ organization dedicated to the betterment of Northern Quebec published this trilingual compilation entitled The Northerners/Les Septentrionaux/Taqramiutwhich which provided Inuit perspectives on communications referring to the four ways people talk together: communications between communities, communications between the land and communities, communication within a community and communication from the South to the communities. Their publication illustrated by Alootook Ipellie, responded to their concerns that, “We the Inuit of Northern Quebec, have long believed that the white people don’t know very much about us. Even those people who live among us, don’t know us very well.” The Northern Quebec Inuit Association was concerned with the preservation of Inuit language, culture, dignity and pride, the unity of Inuit of Northern Quebec and the protection of the rights of hunters, fishers and trappers. Tr. I. b. A. Ipellie. La Macaza, QC: Northern Quebec Inuit Association.

1975-9. The first fully elected Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories was formed. Nine of the fifteen members were aboriginal. This Council pushed for provincial status. Two Dene members, George Barnaby and James Wah-Shee resigned from the Legislature in protest. They argued that the government was not theirs since it was not aboriginal. Peter Ernerk from Rankin Inlet and Arnold McCallum were elected by the full caucus to be Executive Committee. (Parker 1996:67).

1976. Warren Allmand was the Minister of Northern Affairs.

1977. In Barrow Alaska on June 15, Inuit formed an international non-governmental organization, known as the Inuit Circumpolar Conference dedicated to protect and advance Inuit rights and interest on the international level. They represented 150, 000 Inuit in territories governed by Denmark, Canada, the United States and the Russian Federation.

1978. . “March 21 : Indian and Eskimo Affairs Program changed its name to Indian and Inuit Affairs Program. March: Tripartite Branch formed within Policy, Research and Evaluation Group with primary responsibility at Headquarters for discussions with provincial governments and Indian associations on priority topics of mutual concern to all parties. The Branch was formed in response to pressure from provincial governments and Indian associations wanting to enter into tripartite discussions on a variety of issues. April 1: Cultural Development Unit transferred from the Education and Cultural Support Branch to the Communications and Parliamentary Relations Branch.” http://collections.ic.gc.ca/treaties/text/rec_e_tx.htm .

1979a. Northern cooperatives expanded their line of merchandise and began catering to a growing tourist market in order to compete with the Hudson’s Bay Company. They earned $ 9 million dollars (Myers 1981:17).

1979b. Peter Ittinuar became the first Inuk in the Canadian House of Commons. Tom Suluk and Jack Anawak were elected in subsequent elections (Crowe 1997 Inuktitut).

1980. October 1980 Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) passed a resolution calling for the creation of Nunavut, at the annual general meeting.

1980s. Willie Ekomiak was a police office in Kuujjuak for one year but it was too difficult. All the problems were in centre town where he worked. Re: Sarah Ekoomiak.

1984b. The Inuit vividly remember September 30, 1984, when 10, 000 caribou were drowned on the Caniapiscau River, near Kuujjuaq because of the James Bay project.

1990-3. Tom Siddon was demoted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development position after the crisis in the fisheries while he was Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. “Only months after his swearing in the Oka Crisis broke out, and Siddon was attacked for his inactivity and refusal to negotiate until the Mohawks dropped their arms and removed the barricades. Soon after the exclusion of the First Nations from the constitutional process was one of the deciding factors in the death of the Meech Lake Accord. His greatest legacy and success was also achieved as Minister of Indian Affairs when with the agreement to create the new territory of Nunavut in 1992.” wikipedia.

200? Sarah contacted her daughter Meeka who is in the United States. Her daughter was adopted into a good family. She received an excellent education and is now teaching Spanish SFL in the United States. She has a young son.

1994. Sarah Ekoomiak accompanied Ben and Karen Needham to James Bay in October, 1994 so that Karen could meet her relatives for the first time. Karen’s biological mother Maria Fleming wanted Karen to have a better life in the south than she could provide in the north. Karen was adopted into a loving family but wanted to meet her biological family. Sarah Ekoomiak is her great-aunt. Sarah had last seen Maria Fleming in Ottawa in 1960 when she was pregnant for Karen. Sarah introduced Karen and Ben to her many relatives in Kujjuarapik. Maria Fleming had died in Toronto in 2003. See Inuktitut 2004.

1994. Nunavut Day celebrations in Ottawa were kicked off with fiddle music by Bill and Sarah Ekoomiak. Elder Mary Peter then lit the ceremonial qulliq. …Nunatsiaq News, July 11, 1997

1999. “Among the indigenous people living today, Inuit probably stand alone in having peacefully achieved so many political, economic and social gains through negotiation with the government authorities they live under. The most important political gains have been the acquisition of Home Rule from the Danish parliament by Greenlanders in 1979 and the recognition of the territory of Nunavut (1999) as a self-governing political entity within the Canadian nation. In both cases the territorial structures where all residents have the right to vote. But since Inuit form the majority, they are guaranteed a de facto self-governing status (d’Anglure 2002:205).”

2004a. Charlie Ekomiak who was recently stabbed to death by his girlfriend in Montreal was from the second wife of Charlie Ekomiak (1914-1960s?). The artist-author Normand Ekomiak was his older brother.

Sarah Ekoomiak went on a marathon trip with Ben the fireman, to Marathon near Thunder Bay, Moose Factory. She camped outside in Moose Factory and caught a very bad cold. She tried to find her grandfather’s grave but couldn’t.

2004c. Sarah Ekoomiak’s son Garry moved to New Brunswick to be with his two-year-old daughter and his partner Chastity.

2005 In recognition of International Woman’s Day, the Bahá’í Community of La Pêche, Quebec, is holding a special evening on March 19th to recognize and honour Sarah Ekoomiak, a long-time resident of Wakefield. The following article appeared in the Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Spring newsletter:

“On the evening of Saturday, March 19th Sarah Ekoomiak was the guest of honour at an International Women’s Day event organized by the Baha’i Community of La Peche. The Wakefield Community Centre was packed full of supporters, friends and family who came to celebrate with her. Upon entering the hall guests had the opportunity to view examples of Sarah’s beautiful needle and bead work and read some of the newspaper articles written about the work she has done over the years. The evening started with lighting the qulliq followed by drumming and singing and a presentation on Sarah’s life story. There was also a visual presentation of photographs which included pictures of herself on the C.D. Howe ship where she had served as an interpreter. Following this, Sarah was awarded an engraved plaque as a tribute to her remarkable life. The evening ended with music that included fiddle playing by her brother, Billy Ekoomiak and a wonderful feast of caribou, char and bannock. Congratulations Sarah on this deserved recognition of your life’s work and of the wonderful person that you are!” Akiurvik TI’s Spring Newsletter 2005 (Akiurvik:TI’s Spring 2005 Newsletter

2006 Sarah continued to be in close contact with family members and friends in the North by telephone. She was increasingly worried that conditions in Chisasibi and Sanikualaq Islands were deteriorating in terms of vulnerabilities to violence mainly because of the quantities of harder drugs. Family members received compensation as survivors of residential schools. Sarah did not because there was no evidence she had been at the residential school.

2006 In October, 2006 Sarah’s friend Ben who struggled with depression for decades finally took his own life. Before their divorce Ben and his wife K. took Sarah on a lengthy road trip from Ottawa to Chisasibi so that K. could meet her biological family, Sarah’s extended family. Ben, who was not aboriginal but had shared many experiences of Canada’s First Nations and Inuit through his unfortunate years in residential school, adopted the Inuit community and considered Sarah to be a second mother. He initiated countless trips for Sarah including a return to Moose Factory to try to find the grave of her relatives who had died there of TB. Although they were not able to find the grave the journey was tremendously important to her. Ben tried to learn Inuktitut. Sarah’s Inuit family nicknamed him ‘safety pin’ in Inuktitut because of a mistake he made in pronunciation.

2008-06 Lucy Martin featured Sarah Ekoomiak playing the spoons and William Ekomiak on the fiddle on her North Country Public Radio show entitled Heard Up North — way Up North: the Ekoomiaks.” Sarah and Willie were playing at the annual Qaggit in Ottawa. This story was linked to a feature on Harper’s apology.


Chisasibi was the community most directly affected by James Bay Hydro Electric Corporation project. Hunting and trapping territories were flooded; the community itself forcibly relocated. Like at Kuujjarapik there was a long history of trade with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The HBC had a post in Fort George (Mailasikkut) since 1803 which was moved to Governor’s or Fort George Island in 1837. Chisasibi, where many of Sarah’s relatives live today, is Cree for “great river”, officially known as La Grande River through the infamous project (see Patrick 2003:84). Initially the hydro project was planned unilaterally by Quebec without consulting the Inuit and Cree who used the watershed from time immemorial. The plan entailed a 50-year scheme in northern Quebec which would have altered or reversed the flow of 19 major rivers on Inuit and Cree land to create one of North America’s largest hydro-electric dam systems. The flooding resulted in major ecological imbalances not to mention invasion and destruction of Inuit and Cree land (see 1997:269). The Fort George that Sarah and Willie knew in their childhood was relocated to the present site of Chisasibi which is marks the first kilometers of the James Bay autoroute connecting isolated communities in the north to the south. This is the highway that brought Sarah and her Gatineau husband Paul Hamelin back north for visits in the 1980s. Sarah returned again in 200? with her cousin Karin Needham to reintroduce her to her Inuit relatives. Karin had been adopted into a southern non-Inuit family in the 1960s during the infamous period called the sixties scoop.

Umiujaq is the starting point of a popular long-distance dog sled race. It was an artificially created community in which

Bibliography and Webliography

Martin, Lucy. 2008-06. “Heard Up North — way Up North: the Ekoomiaks.” North Country Public Radio.

Patrick, Donna. 2003. Language, Politics, and Social Interaction in an Inuit Community. Berlin/New York. Mouton de Gruyter.

1677 G. Mitelli’s “A Baroque “Cabinet of Curiosities.” Lorenzo Legati, Museo Cospiano annesso a quello del famoso Ulisse Aldrovandi e donato alla sua patria dall’illustrissimo Signor Ferdinando Cospi. “One of the first full-fledged demonstrations of this interpretative strategy was Eilean Hooper-Greenhill’s Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge, several times reprinted since its appearance in 1992. “[I]nstead of attempting to find generalisations and unities,” Hooper-Greenhill proposed “to look for differences, for change, and for rupture.”15 This “effective history” as distinct from the “normal history” of progressive development would clear the way to a full appreciation for the array of alternative practices that the old teleological accounts had glossed over or suppressed. On the model of Foucault’s templates of successive formations of power and knowledge (the famous discursive formations-discourse-epistemes), Hooper-Greenhill discussed a succession of sites of collection and display—the Medici Palace in Florence; the Renaissance Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities (see Fig. 1) the natural history collections of the seventeenth century, particularly the Repository of the Royal Society in England; and the modern “Disciplinary Museum” for which the postrevolutionary Louvre was the prototype. The result is not a connected museum history, let alone a history of “the” museum. It is rather a kind of genealogical chart of the shifting constellations of epistemology and authority governing the collection of material objects” (Starn 2005).

1683 The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology is the UK’s oldest public museum opened. Prior to its opening in 1683, the word “Museum” wasn’t even used in English.

1783 An image depicting the monument to Friedrich II in Kassel’s Friedrichsplatz. The Museum Fridericianum proudly claimed that it was the first museum in Europe. Cassel had galleries, parks, gardens and palaces that imitated the magnificence of Versailles. The Langraves of Hesse-Cassel were dealers in men for centuries. Hessian mercenaries had defeated the agrarian peasants in the area and took their lands. Napoleon III was imprisoned in Cassel, Northern Germany. See Crimp ‘The Art of Exhibition’ (OMR:236).

1828 In his plans for the Berlin Museum, Schinkel preserved the world of classical perfection in his rotunda which was also the visitor’s first encounter with the museum.”The sight of this beautiful and exalted place must create the mood for and make one susceptible to the pleasure of judgement that the building holds in store throughout.” [. . . ] “First delight, then instruct.” This sanctuary as Schinkel called it, would contain the prize works of monumental classical sculpture mounted on high pedestals. This was to have the effect of preparing the visitor for a “march through the history of man’s striving for Absolute Spirit. Schinkel planned a gestalt in which all relationships among objects were fixed. He paid close attention to Hegel’s notion of aesthetics as they were elaborated in his lectures from 1823-29. Hegel declared that, “The spirit of our world todat appears beyond the stage at which art is the supreme mode of our knowledge of the Absolute. The peculiar nature of artistic production and of works of art no longer fulfills our highest need. We have got beyond venerating works of art as divine and worshipping them. The impression they make on us needs a higher touchstone and a different test. Thought and reflection have spread their wings over fine art.” (Hegel, Introduction to Aesthetics). Hegel was speaking of the Owl of Minerva which was to be exhibited in the museum’s rotunda. The Owl of Minerva prepares the viewer for a contemplation of art which “has lost for us genuine truth and life, and has rather been transferred into our ideas instead of maintaining its earlier necessity in reality . . . Art invites us to intellectual consideration, and that not for the purpose of creating art again, but for knowing philosophically what art is.” Crimp continues, “It is upon this wresting of art from its necessity in reality that idealist aesthetics and the ideal museum are founded; and it is against the power of their legacy that we must still struggle for a materialist aesthetics and a materialist art (Crimp 1993:302).

1845 P. T. Barnum’s Grand Colossal Museum and Greatest Show on Earth (Boon 1991:259).

Crystal Palace Exhibition was one of the first great world fair’s which were a great nationalistic invention in the 19th century based on the theme of European’s progress (Errington 1998:18 ). Colonized peoples were represented as sources of raw materials. The disciplines of folklore and archaeology were used for nationalistic purposes. The Crystal Palace unintentionally represented Britain’s colonial transgressions (Boon 1991:259). The world’s fair, the museum of science and technology, the fine arts museum, the natural history museum are examples of public sites for mass education in the idea of progress (Errington 1998:19).
1861 Edward Belcher wrote an paper entitled ‘On the manufacture of works of art by the Esquimaux’ which is archived in the Department of Ethnography in the British Museum in London. See J. King Franks and Ethnography. This may be the first paper written on Inuit art (Belcher 1861).

1892 Henry James (1892) described Venice as a beautiful tomb, a museum city with its gondoliers, beggars and models as custodians and ushers and objects of the great museum. (James, Henry. 1988. Henry James on Italy [Selections from Italian Hours] New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988:10 cited in Boon 1991:255). Crimp (IMR 1993:109) referred to a ghost tale by Henry James which played on the double, antithetical meaning of the word presence. “The presence before him was a presence.” In his ghost stories James uses a notion of presence as a ghost that is really an absence. It refers to a presence which is not there. Crimp added the idea of a presence as a kind of increment of being there. It is a ghostly presence that is its excess of presence even when the person conjured is absent. Crimp compared this to Laurie Anderson’s presence at Documenta 7 (1982) in Cassel as an uninvited but powerfully present contemporary artist.

1893 Boas has collected data for this book while gathering ethnographic material in preparation for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition which he hoped would be a potential for public education about other cultures through the use of culturally sensitive and intelligent ethnographic displays. Boas, a Jew devoted his life to dismantling racist notions that had impregnated the social sciences in the 19th century. He was so disgusted by the final displays of human culture in the world fairs that he refused any further collaboration. At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair Inuit wore their fur clothing in the heat of Chicago summers. They demonstrated the art of snapping whips and exhibited their kayaks. Franz Boas’ (1858-1942) book entitled The Central Eskimo was reprinted. Boas has been called the father of American Anthropology. Boas promoted the concept of cultural determinism. His students including Margaret Mead founded university departments and/or directed museums of ethnography. See also The World as Marketplace: Commodification of the Exotic at the World’s Colombian Exposition, Chicago (Hinsley 1991) Columbia Exposition was the origin of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (Errington 1998:20).

1904 Exposition in St. Louis displayed Philippine natives. The US had recently annexed the Philippines.

1905 Franz Boas resigned after ten years with the American Museum of Natural History because he was convinced that it was impossible to adequately represent cultural meaning on so slim a basis as physical objects. (8 ) He turned his attention to analysis of oral traditions, hoping to find in texts recorded directly from native speakers a more objective method of addressing the issues preoccupying the anthropology of his day — race, language, and culture. (9) Some of his followers, though, continued to argue for the superior objectivity of material culture; Alfred Kroeber, for instance, saw archaeological data as ‘the purest [data] there are.’ (10) This penchant for trying to abstract evidence about ‘traditional’ culture from embodied words and things, while ignoring the turmoil engulfing Native peoples at the time collections were made, has retrospectively been interpreted as a serious shortcoming of early anthropology, but it established patterns. “In the short history of anthropology, analyses of spoken words and of material objects have usually been compartmentalized. In North America this dichotomy reflects the way the discipline was originally constituted.

1907 Picasso’s acquaintance Pieret began to make raids on the Louvre removing Phoenician antiquities and selling them to Picasso. Richardson suggested that these Iberian sculptures inspired Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) (Richardson 1996:22-3). Picasso claimed that his epiphany came in when he paid a visit to the seldom frequented Ethnographical Museum at the Trocadero, now the Musee de l’Homme. He described this visit to Malraux later. “When I went to the old Trocadero, it was disgusting. The Flea Market. The smell. I was all alone. I wanted to get away. But I didn’t leave. I stayed. I understood that it was important: something was happening to me right? The masks weren’t like any other pieces of sculpture. Not at all. They were like magic things. But they weren’t the Egyptian pieces or the Chaldean? We hadn’t realized it. Those were primitives, not magic things. The Negro pieces were intercesseurs, mediators: ever since then I’ve known the word in French. They were against everything. I too believe that everything is unknown, that everything is an enemy! Everything! I understood what the Negroes used their sculpture for… The fetishes were… weapons. To help people avoid coming under the influence of spirits again, to help them become independent. Spirits, the unconscious (people still weren’t talking about that much), emotion — they’re all the same thing. I understand why I was a painter. All alone in that awful museum, with masks, dolls made by the redskins, dusty manikins. Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon must have come to me that day, but not at all because of the forms; because it was my first exorcism painting— yes absolutely! (Malraux 1974:11)” Picasso discovered African art section of Tropedaro? in Louvre (Errington 1998:10). Primitive objects, history

1910 National Gallery of Canada Collection moved to east wing of the Victoria Memorial Museum building.

1914 “In her recent book, The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress (1998 ) anthropologist Shelly Errington traces the rise of the modernist paradigm of Authentic Primitive Art in the United States through a series of temporary exhibits, ranging from the 1914 exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s 219 Gallery in New York to the exhibits of African, Oceanic and American Indian Art at the Museum of Modern Art during the 1930s and 1940s to the permanent Museum of Primitive Art established in New York in 1957 (Phillips 2002:46-7).”

1923-42 Frederick Keppel was the president of powerful Carnegie Corporation. At that the Corporation were interested in creating elitist consensus building and in cultural development in places like Australia. The Corporation’s ideals, values, prejudices, interests and assumptions tended to support business-orientated, white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant men (Lagemann 1989:6-8,104). Keppel’s aim was to the transmission of “traditionally elite culture…[through]… enlightening public taste directly”. In regard to the arts it was clear that “the goal was to elevate the “best taste” rather than “improve the average”. Under Keppel, classical styles in the fine arts, great literature and the sensibilities and habits associated with them, were seen as “essential to character and taste especially as culture became more susceptible to commercial standards and interests”. Keppel’s goal was to be achieved, not just through schools, but also via the diverting of popular interest in education to agencies like the library, adult education center and the art museum. E. Root (president of the Carnegie Corporation until 1932) echoed 1920 sentiment, when he directed that Corporation policy would follow the trend “for art education and art appreciation… to unite all of the arts in the common endeavor to educate the publics tastes and to train men and women who may interpret the arts to the body of the people” (Lagemann 1989:95,102,115,117).

1923 Le Corbusier held up an image of a pipe as an image of pure functionalism. See Foucault (OT 1982:60) See Magritte (1926).

1926 Réné Magritte (1898-1967) entitled a painting Ceci n’est pas une pipe. See Foucault (1973).

1927 Marius Barbeau was an ethnologist who proposed the 1927 exhibition showing native and non-native artists side by side, Emily Carr and totem poles. “The interrelation of totem poles and modern paintings displayed in close proximity made it clear that the inspiration for both kinds of art expression sprang from the same fundamental background. One enhanced the beauty of the other and made it more significant. The Indian craftsmen were great artists in their way, and original; the moderns responded to the same exotic themes, but in terms consonant with their own traditions (Barbeau 1932:337-8 cited in Nemiroff 1992:23).”

1930 Canadian Handicrafts Guild organized an exhibition of Eskimo Arts and Crafts at the McCord Museum in Montreal. The exhibition attracted the attention of the New York Times (Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec 1980:11).

1936 Walter Benjamin wrote his influential essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” (1936) the aura is the source of all value in a deteriorating world. Aura as used by Walter Benjamin refers to “the associations which, at home in the mémoire involuntaire, tend to cluster around the object of a perception”(186). Its place in memory reveals that the aura is what has made the objects of the collector, the translator and the storyteller seem so meaningful “Once you have approached the mountains of cases in order to mine the books from them…what memories crowd in on you!”(66), he writes of his collection. He connects storytelling explicitly to memory. “Memory is the epic faculty par excellence”(97) and even employs the term “aura”. The storyteller is the man who could let the wick of his life be consumed completely by the gentle flame of his story. This is the basis of the incomparable aura about the storyteller….The storyteller is the figure in which the righteous man encounters himself (108-9). The aura is elsewhere defined in these telling terms. Experience of the aura thus rests on the transportation of a response common in human relationships to the relationship between the inanimate or natural object and man….To perceive the aura of an object we look at means to invest it with the ability to look at us in return. This experience corresponds to the data of the mémoire involontaire (188 ). As one can see, before the essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” (1936) the aura is the source of all value in a deteriorating world. It grounds the practice of the collector, the storyteller and indirectly the translator for it lends to their activities a purposefulness they would otherwise not have, becoming only allegories of market strategies. It makes sense that he would have to declare war on this concept given the way those activities resemble market strategies even with their aura__ given, in fact, the resemblance of aura to ideology. Experience of the aura thus rests on the transportation of a response common in human relationships to the relationship between the inanimate or natural object and man….To perceive the aura of an object we look at means to invest it with the ability to look at us in return. This experience corresponds to the data of the mémoire involontaire (188 ). Crimp (OMR 1993:112) argued that art history adopts an approach modeled on kunstwissenschaft wherein art historians attempt to prove or disprove the aura or presence of the authentic, unique original aspects of works of art. Using chemical analysis or connoisseurship art historians can prove or disprove the authenticity of a work of art which assures its place in a museum. Museums reject copies and reproductions. The presence of the artist must be detected through the work of art or the claim of authenticity cannot be made. See Crimp (OMR 1993:112).

1941 The US was almost ready to join the war. American nationalism intensified. Marc Chagall invited by the Museum of Modern Art, arrived in New York the day the Germans invaded Russia. New York columnist Henry McBride claimed that Americans “had become the sole custodians of the arts” since the collapse of Europe. He vaunted the Museum of Modern Art, “Is not the museum asking us to take the hint and to return to these original sources and start our aesthetic life anew?” (McBride 1941 cited in Nemiroff 1992:29)

1930s-40s “In her recent book, The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress (1998 ) anthropologist Shelly Errington traces the rise of the modernist paradigm of Authentic Primitive Art in the United States through a series of temporary exhibits, ranging from the 1914 exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s 219 Gallery in New York to the exhibits of African, Oceanic and American Indian Art at the Museum of Modern Art during the 1930s and 1940s to the permanent Museum of Primitive Art established in New York in 1957 (Phillips 2002:46-7).”

1941 The Museum of Modern Art in New York “staged a major exhibition called “Indian Art in the United States”, a seminal show which demonstrated that scholars and curators had recognised the unstoppable force of a key area of aesthetics and felt obliged to say: “Yes, we recognise this art, these artifacts, for the divinely inspired wonders which they often are.” One man who summed up what the American public was seeing, in many cases for the first time, was the ethnographer and anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. “Before long,” he noted, “these works will appear in museums and galleries of fine art.” (Hensall 1999) See 1999 “The Back Half – Visions of another America” The New Statesman.

1941 The exhibition entitled the “Art of Australia” traveled to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York and the National Gallery of Art Washington and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The exhibition in Canada displayed different works of art than those shown in the US. The MoMA and the US National Gallery of Art were considered to be the most significant. Canada is a commonwealth country whose civic structure and population size is roughly similar to Australia’s. “These three venues set the parameters and context of the exhibition as a public event, configuring the show in a sequence of events in a bigger cultural picture that reveals the relationship of alliances that exists between governments and the deployment of culture as a tool of propaganda (Ryan, Louise 2002)”.

1947 André Malraux introduced his notion of the musée imaginaire or Museum Without Walls. “In his well known Museum Without Walls of 1947, André Malraux commented on the “fictitious” aspect of art books and observed that reproductions not only change the scale of original works, they also make them lose any sense of relative proportion when gathered together in such a way. Enlarged details, lighting, angle of shots, colour, everything metamorphoses the works. Furthermore, reproduction can bring side by side works of art that could never be seen together simply because they are housed in various institutions or scattered in different locations, indoors and outdoors, all over the world. The end result for Malraux was nothing less than an “imaginary museum”, an ideal art museum, as opposed to a real one, one that transformed the way art was experienced, appreciated and understood” (Malraux, 1956).

1949 In his 1949[1969] publication La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II, Fernard Braudel irreversibly transformed the way history was written. The social science turn in historiography was propelled forward by Braudel’s methodology based on “la longue durée”. Braudel examined white writings on the surface of the profound oceans to explore societies in relation to their geographic environments, social structures, their trade routes and their intellectual histories. Braudel examined the geography, political economies and sociology of the cities, Venice, Milan, Genoa and Florence in the age of Phillip II. Images of the immobility of time in Borges map contrast with the rapid acceleration of time in traditional history where centuries and millenia were encapsulated into the lives of singular heroic figures from Alexander the Great, Caesar, Gengis Khan, Louis XIV to Napoleon (Braudel 1949[1969]).

1950s Whitney committed to MoMA orthodoxy-the preference for European modernism. Prior to 1950s the Whitney was committed to realist art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) was considered to be an elitist, right of center museum dedicated to exhibiting the aesthetic tastes of the New York establishment.

1953 Charles and Peter Gimpel opened an exhibition of Inuit art entitled “Eskimo Carvings” in May in London, England at the gallery they had opened in 1946 (Vorano 2004:9-18 ). An illustrated catalogue was produced for the exhibition. Vorano argues that this was a pivotal exhibition introducing Inuit art internationally. Charles Gimpel was a photographer who traveled to Canada’s far north in the 1950s and 1960s long before this became a popular tourist attraction. See Tippett and Gimpel (1994). Charles Gimpel and Terry Ryan visited Kingait in 1958 when James Houston was there. “Charles Gimpel had arranged an exhibition of Inuit art at his Gallery during the Coronation celebrations in 2 June of 1953, and the international press covered it Time International, Mayfair, The Observer, The Times. Every prominent newspaper in the western world was writing about this art, and Canadian critics decided that maybe there was something here they should take a look at.” It was terrific: the Museum of Modern Art in New York bought the first set of Cape Dorset prints. Governor General Vincent Massey gave an Inuit print to Princess Margaret as a wedding present.”

1953 James Houston met with his friend Eugene Power to discuss ways of marketing Inuit Art in the United States. Power, who owned and operated University Microfilms in Ann Arbor, established a non-profit gallery in Ann Arbor called Eskimo Art Incorporated to import the work. He encouraged the Cranbrook Institute of Science to host an exhibition of the work in 1953, the first exhibition of Inuit Art in the United States. In 2004 The Dennos Museum Center holds a collection of nearly 1,000 works of Inuit art from the Canadian Arctic. It is believed to be one of the largest and most historically complete collection of Inuit sculpture and prints in the United States. James Houston visited New York and Chicago to sell Inuit carvings and talk about their experience in the Canadian Arctic. Houston’s friend Eugene B. Power at the university at Ann Arbour, Michigan invited some colleagues including museum director Dr. Robert Hatt and anthropologist Bruce Inverarity, who began collecting Inuit art. Power began Eskimo Art, Inc Power’s foundation Eskimo Art Inc offered to purchase the entire Guild inventory of Inuit art although the Guild declined the offer. Guild president Jack Molson had informed James Houston that even though the quality of the works was improving the Guild did not have a large enough clientele to sell the work. Eskimo Art Inc later helped organize exhibitions of Inuit art including a travelling exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Houston described other early exhibitions at the Field Museum in Chicago and at the Museum of Natural History in New York. There were exhibitions in the States before Canadian galleries noticed (Houston 1995:146-8 ).

1957 “In her recent book, The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress (1998 ) anthropologist Shelly Errington traces the rise of the modernist paradigm of Authentic Primitive Art in the United States through a series of temporary exhibits, ranging from the 1914 exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s 219 Gallery in New York to the exhibits of African, Oceanic and American Indian Art at the Museum of Modern Art during the 1930s and 1940s to the permanent Museum of Primitive Art established in New York in 1957 (Phillips 2002:46-7).”

1959 The Vancouver Museum and the Art Gallery of the University of British Columbia welcomed young innovative artists of their region. Roy Kiyooka added his New York influence to Jack Shadbolt’s charisma at the Vancouver School of Fine Arts. Vancouver because of its closer ties to the American west coast, Seattle and San Francisco, was not evolving in an artistic vacuum. See Withrow (1972:12.)

1960 Michael Spock director of the Boston Children’s Museum adopted a missionary zeal in development and implementation of hands-on visitor-centred learning experiences in museum display. Based on his own learning experience as a dyslexic in a well-known and politically liberal family, Spock focused on a concept of aesthetics which was linked to comfort in learning. He used interactive materials in the museum space prior to developing the exhibition to ask viewers what they wanted to know about the exhibition content. He and Oppenheimer were among the pioneers in hands-on museum display (Gurian 1991:180 in Karp and Levine).

1960s and 1970s Canada experienced a major expansion of museums through the late 60’s and 70’s, an expansion often inspired and led by volunteers.

1960s Photography was ‘discovered’ as an art form. Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol began to silkscreen photographic images onto the canvases. Through this process photography contaminated the purity of modernism’s separate categories of painting and sculpture. See Crimp, (On the Museums Ruins 1993:77).

1964 The artist Marcel Broodthaers held an exhibition at the Galerie Saint-Laurent in Brussels. He explained that until that time he had been good for nothing so he decided to try to create. His admission of bad faith, of the commodization of art, made of him a creator of ‘museum fictions’. “Fiction enables us to grasp reality and at the same time that which is veiled by reality.” See Crimp (1993:201).

1965 Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) signed the Declaration of Independence. Museums in Rhodesia reflected the anti-black stance of the government. Africans were discouraged from patronizing museums. The cultural heritage of Africans of Zimbabwe was very rich. Material culture included numerous objects that were aesthetic, sophisticated, innovatice, original and ingenious. Artifacts were collected by third parties, such as farmers, missionaries. These collections were then acquired by museums so that there was no relationship between the ethnographer and the object. The original environment and social context of the object were of no interest to the museum since their was no value assigned to the entire culture of Africans of Zimbabwe. A policy of centralization of research collections was adopted and implemented between 1979 and 1981. No African traditions of Zimbabwe were collected in the archives until 1977. They had clearly set up museums as white culture houses. When Robert Mugabe, first black prime minister of Zimbabwe first came to power in 1981? he called for a reconciliation of the political, economic, cultural identities of Zimbabwe. Cultural institutions through collections and galleries are the central artery of communication as providers of education and information. Some argued that cultural institutions in Rhodesia, like museums, were a European concept that could not be adapted to the needs of a pluralistic society like Zimbabwe. See Munjeri in Karp and Lavine.

1967 Federal and provincial governments built historical parks. Students wore period costumes and took on roles of their forefathers as a summer job. Canadians were learning to be proud of being Canadian. Tourism was on the rise.

1968 But in Krauss’ narrative, by the late 1960s video and television were rendering film obsolete; Broodthaers’ Musee d’Art Moderne signaled a loss of confidence in medium in retooling the readymade to embrace the entirety of commercial dross. In so doing Broodthaers further registered the classifying and collecting functions of the museum as a practice heading toward obsolescence See EndNote entry under Krauss (1999).

1970 Museum workers including Leah Inutiq, at the newly founded institution Nunatta Sunaqutangit organised an exhibition of Inuit Art during the Royal Visit to Frobisher Bay, NWT.

1970s According to d’Anglure (2002:227) new generation of educated Inuit, including the founders of Igloolik Isuma like Paul Apak and political leader Paul Quassa, began to visit archives, museums and libraries to learn more about the past and about shamanism. Research into the past intensified along with negotiations for Nunavut and self-government. (D’Anglure 2002:227).

1970 Minimalist artist Richard Serra moved his work outside museum walls by building Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

1971 Doris Shadbolt was one of the curators of the exhibition “Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic” which opened at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

1971 The Multiculturalism Policy and its attendant Canadian Multicultural Act were adopted. “The federal multicultural program formalised support for the idea of Canadian identity as constituted in its diversity of cultures, an idea that was only implicit in Massey-Lévesque. Multicultural diversity was designed to be the basis of the cultural pillar of Canada’s foreign and domestic policy. In many ways, its logic is the inverse of Massey-Lévesque. The aim of Massey-Lévesque was about building institutions that would unify a compartmentalised nation and about underlining Canada’s historical roots in Europe, primarily Britain and France, as a means to deflect Canadians from the pernicious influences of American culture.” See Ken Lum (1999).

1971 Duncan Cameron published his article distinguishing between the museum that plays a timeless, universal functions as a structured sample of reality, an objective model of reality (Cameron 1971:201. The museum as forum is a place for confrontation, experimentation and debate (Cameron 1971:197 cited in Karp 1991:3).” “In 1971 the Canadian museologist Duncan F. Cameron pointed out the museum’s need to develop both the functions as a temple and as a forum. Twenty years later he once more offers a critical analysis of the museum and the museum profession. Cameron still thinks the museum profession can form part of the vanguard for positive social change. One of the biggest problems, he finds in the conflicting values within the individual, who is constituted as an unholy trinity of private, professional and institutional persons. Each professional person will have to re-examine himself, the academic disciplines and the museum institution. To meet the challenges of tomorrow it is necessary with a change of heart, not only intellectualism.” (Gjestrum 1994).

1973 Daniel Buren published his influential article in Artforum entitled ‘Function of the Museum’.

1973 Marcel Broodthaers, produced a film entitled A Voyage on the North Sea.

1974 The Museum of Modern Art held a controversial exhibition entitled ‘Eight Contemporary Artists’ including the highly politicized Conceptual and Minimalist work. Minimalist artist and museum critic Daniel Buren cynically argued that works of art might as well be locked up in vaults to protect them since they are already so isolated from the world framed, encased in glass in museums. Burin’s contribution to the exhibition was striped panels and fragments representing these frames affixed to nearby corridor and garden walls. Vogue magazine’s Barbara Rose vented her anger against this complicity between the dominant bourgeois cultural institutions and politically-motivated critics of these institutions. She argued that artists like Buren were disenchanted and demoralized artists who sabotaged museums of prestigious museums like the MoMA. focused their aggression against art greater than their own. See Crimp (Museum Ruins:85).

1974 William Rubin responded to Rose in “The Museum Concept is not Infinitely Expandable” published in Artforum explaining that ‘museums are essentially compromise institutions invented by bourgeois democracies to reconcile the larger public with art conceived within the compass of elite private patronage’. Rubin predicted that museums are perhaps becoming irrelevant to the practices of contemporary art. He predicted the end of the period of modern art (c.1850-1970) which for over a century focused on the ‘easel painting concept with its connection to bourgeois democratic life and concurrently the development of private collections as well as the museum concept. See Crimp (Museum Ruins:87). Crimp (1993:281) described how Rubin attempted “to defend the museum against the charge that it had become unresponsive to contemporary art. He insisted that this art simply had no place in a museum, which he sees essentially as a temple for high art. This, of course, puts him in perfect accord with New York critic Hilton Kramer’s position. Crimp (1993) argued that ‘What is never acknowledged is that ignoring those forms of art which exceed the museum – whether the work of historical avant-garde or that of the present – will necessarily give a distorted view of history.”

1970s Museology became more professional as money increased. Their staff’s professional credentials trumped experienced volunteers.

1970s Feminist projects consisted of retrieval-of the re-presentation of work by women that had been “hidden from history,” as a result of the by now well-known joint effects of selective art criticism, art history, and museum practices. “ (Nochlin 1971, Kristeva 1980, Parker and Pollock 1981), Duncan, Broude and Garrard 1982, Pollock 1988, Tickner 1988, Lipton 1988, Rose in Holly 1997) Borrowing from Marxist ideology critiques, Pollock’s Vision and Difference (1988 ) contends that the only viable conceptual framework for the study of women’s artistic history is one that emphasizes the ways in which gender differences are socially constructed. While indebted to poststructuralist French feminist thinkers such as Julia Kristeva (who also wrote several important essays in art theory, such as “Motherhood According to Giovanni Bellini,” Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, ed. Leon S. Roudiez, 1980), contemporary English-speaking feminists such as Pollock, Lisa Tickner (The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign, 1907-1914, 1988 ), Eunice Lipton (Looking Into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life, 1988 ), Carol Duncan (“Virility and Domination in Early Twentieth Century Vanguard Painting,” Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany, ed. Norma Broude and Mary Garrard, 1982), and Jacqueline Rose tend to focus on the articulation of sexual difference rather than on a definition of a specific female artistic sensibility. They simultaneously restore a certain power to images, for they emphasize that art is as capable of constituting ideology as it is of reflecting it–a political commitment that goes way beyond the mission of art history proposed by either the formalist tradition or the iconological method (See Feminist Theory and Criticism (Holly 1997).”

1975 Steven Spielberg’s film Jaws generated $1 million setting a benchmark for films that could be described as “blockbusters.” Spielberg and Lucas’ Star Wars (1977), the most successful film of the 1970s. Following the unprecedented box office success of Jaws and Spielberg and Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) Hollywood producers created high-budget, extravagant films with high audience estimates using aggressive and effective advertising techniques to market the films and offering related products (toys, clothing, etc) to enhance profits. The 1970s marked the beginning of the “blockbuster era”. (In WWII the high capacity, low accuracy bombs were called blockbusters by the media.)

1975 The Museum of Modern Art exhibition entitled Modern masters, Manet to Matisse was an unprecedented success when it was shown in New York August 5-September 28 and later in Australia. See exhibition catalogue: Lieberman, William S. Ed. 1975. Modern masters, Manet to Matisse. Museum of Modern Art, New York. This international exhibition which included mainly works on loan from international collections and attracted a wide audience including those who did not usually visit museums, heralded the age of the blockbuster (blockbuster era) in art museums in particular and museums in general.

1975 MoMA’s Modern Masters: Manet to Matisse was the first blockbuster art exhibition in Australia. John Stringer who worked at MoMA in the 1970’s was at least partly responsible for bringing this exhibition to Australia.

1977 Michel Foucault’s 1977 essay “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” provides his most programmatic and most influential statement on the genealogical method is the essay. See Starn (2005).

1976 Brian O’Doherty’s well-known series of articles entitled “White Cube” published in Artforum provide a useful analysis of the modernist art gallery and museum, like the Museum of Modern Art in the 1970s which provide a “a white, ideal space that, more than any single picture, may be the archetypal image of twentieth-century art.” Referring to the architectural rhetoric of modern museums, he described how these spaces in their whiteness seem “possessed by other spaces where conventions are preserved through the repetition of a closed system of values,… [the] sanctity of the church, the formality of the courtroom, [and] … the laboratory…”White Cube

1978 President Carter established a commission, chaired by professional “survivor” Elie Wiesel, to create a national museum in Washington memorializing Jewish suffering in Europe (Finkelstein 2000).

1979 U’mista Cultural Centre is located in Alert Bay on Cormorant Island near the northern tip of Vancouver Island. It adjoins the former residential school, St. Michael’s Residential School. The objects now on display U’mista Cultural Centre and the Kwagiulth Museum and Cultural Centre (opened 1979) were part of major 1921 potlatch hosted by Dan Cranmer from Alert Bay. Potlatch ceremony was criminalized against harsh criticism by Franz Boas. These objects were all confiscated by the Indian agent at Alert Bay, William Halliday who was a ‘former Indian residential school administrator imbued with civilizing zeal’. In the 1950s and 1960s there was a general cultural resurgence. The movement for repatriation emerged. The Museum of Man in Hull (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization) and the Royal Ontario Museum agreed to their repatriation. At this time the two museums were built with private and government funding. Objects in these museums have an evocative power that includes a sense of ‘here’ as well as formal, aesthetic power. See James Clifford in (Karp and Lavine).

1979 Vogue‘s Barbara Rose published ‘American Painting: The Eighties’

1979 Two “large collections of potlatch regalia were returned to the communities of Alert Bay and Cape Mudge in British Columbia. They were housed in museums built specifically to receive them and financed by the federal government. Repatriation can be a deeply spiritual and powerful experience, as indicated in the Peigan Nation response to repatriation of their cultural materials.” RCAP

1980s Marcel Broodthaers’ controversial work led to a series of publications including a special edition of the journal October (1987) devoted to his role in the unsettling the role of museums. Broodthaers registered the classifying and collecting functions of the museum as a practice heading toward obsolescence See EndNote entry under Krauss (1999).

1982 The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the Rockefeller Wing of Primitive Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is considered to be a politically right of center museum, an establishment or elitist organization (Gurian 1991:178-9). The opening of the Rockefeller Wing was the culmination of “institutional validity” of the Primitive Art (Errington 1998 cited in Phillips 2002:46). Phillips summarized Errington’s argument that by the time Metropolitan Museum of Art opened this wing the distinction between purely authentic primitive art forms and cultural productions transformed by contact with the Other, that is, contaminating cultural (technological) influences leading to acculturation was already waning.

1982 Hans Haake participated in the Documenta 7 exhibition which was held at the Museum Fridericianum in Germany. Haake Oelgemaelde, Homage a Marcel Broodthaers in the Neue Gallery not in the Museum Fridericianum. His work was confrontational. On one wall was a detailed oil painting of Ronald Reagan which was in a gold frame and surrounded by classical museological framing devices. On the other was a gigantic photomural of a peaceful anti-Reagan demonstration protesting the deployment of cruise missiles to German soil held in Bonn a week prior . Artistic Director Rudi Fuchs presented a contradictory image. See Crimp (MR:238-9).

1983 Benedict Anderson wrote his influential “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism” Census, map and museum are the three major institutions of power which shaped the way in which allowed the colonial state to imagine its dominion. These three institutions of knowledge management established systems of classification which nurtured a sense of identity in the emerging, imagined, national community. The museum served to classify, create hierarchies of value, store and served in a role of archontes of cultural traditions. (Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.) [MFB: Museums, along with census and maps, were one of the three major colonializing agents producing infinitely reproducible symbols of tradition that constructed imagined communities. Museums as symbols of a hierarchy of power and order responds to the individual and community’s need-to-remember. The museum served to classify, create hierarchies of value, store and served in a role of archontes of cultural traditions. It is our limitation as humans constrained in serial time yet equipped with selective memories, that leaves us dependent on archives. Our long term memory is accessed through mechanisms that we do not yet fully comprehend, so we recall certain things but not others. Everyday life experiences provide individuals with an accumulation of events that evoke (sympathy) emotions. Remembering these sympathies repeated in small habits day after day, helps individuals to evaluate justice with greater lucidity and reason. Museums provide ] These three institutions of power profoundly shaped the way in which the colonial state imagined its dominion. The census created ”identities” imagined by the classifying mind of the colonial state. The fiction of the census is that everyone is in it, and that everyone has one, and only one, extremely clear place. The map also worked on the basis of a totalizing classification. It was designed to demonstrate the antiquity of specific, tightly bounded territorial units. It also served as a logo, instantly recognizable and visible everywhere, that formed a powerful emblem for the anticolonial nationalism being born. The museum allowed the state to appear as the guardian of tradition, and this power was enhanced by the infinite reproducibility of the symbols of tradition. Chapter 11: Memory and Forgetting Awareness of being embedded in secular, serial time, with all its implications of continuity, yet of ”forgetting” the experience of this continuity, engenders the need for a narrative of ”identity.”

1984 The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York hosted an exhibition entitled Primitivism in 20th Century Art which juxtaposed modern artworks with masks from Zaire, Nigeria and Inuit masks. McEvilley (1984) criticized the premise of the exhibition and inaugurated debates on representation of culture. Danto (1987) argued that the juxtapositioning was false and inane. The Museum of Modern Art held an exhibition entitled “Primitivism in 20th Century Art” which was attacked by critic Thomas McEvilley, who called for a rejection of Eurocentricism in cultural history. This opened debates on representation of cultures with a more sophisticated approach to discussions of Self and the Other that continued throughout the 1980s.

1984 The Maori exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum created tensions over ethnohistorical exhibitions. The ethnological and historical background material was rejected as nonsensical by the Maori elders revealing how deeply marginalized groups want to ‘define their own heritage’ and launching debates about institutional procedures (Lavine and Karp 1991:2).

The MOMA held an exhibition in 1984 entitled “An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, in which curator McShine excluded many important artists. AT&T Corporation sponsored the exhibition. Their interests were in accord with the exhibition’s. Innovation and experimentation were valued in business, industry and the arts. One of the new acquisitions of the Architecture and Design Galleries at the MOMA was a Bell 47D helicopter which was considered to be a coup de théatre. These helicopters are manufactured by the same corporation Textron, that builds the Huey model used against civilians in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. “Contemporary art of exhibition has taught us distinguish between the political and the aesthetic. A New York Times editorial described how, “A helicopter suspended from the ceiling, hovers over an escalator in the Museum of Modern Art . . . . The chopper is bright green, bug-eyed and beautiful. We know that it is beautiful because MoMA showed us the way to look at the 20th century.” See Crimp (1993:272-5).

1987 The exhibition catalogue (1987) was published for The Spirit Sings, an ethnographic exhibition of 106 artifacts sponsored by Shell Canada. The exhibition included cultural productions of the Tlinglit, Salish, Haida, Tsimshian (including the mate of the famous Musee de l’Homme prehistoric mask), Gitksan, Iglulik, Netsilik, Mackenzie Inuit, Copper Inuit, Qairnirmiut, Caribou Inuit, Sadliermiut, Southern Baffin, Labrador Inuit, Slavey, Kutchin, Athapaskan, Tahltan, Cree, Chipewyan, Tanaina, Ojibwa, Assiniboin, Sioux, Plains Cree, Blood, Blackfoot, Sarsi, Red River Metis, Late Missippian, Ottawa, Cayuga, Iroquois, Huron, Woodlands, Mohawk, Montagnais (Innu?), Naskapi, Micmac, Maliseet and Boethuk spanning centuries. The goal of this exhibition was to enhance understanding and appreciation of ‘the spirit of Canada’s Native peoples. It was dedicated to the ‘people who produced the objects included in the exhibition. Eighty-five institutions loaned works for the exhibition which was shown at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and the Lorne Building in Ottawa. The voluminous preparatory research undertaken by a team of anthropologists and ethnographers produced a vast archives of slides and text that remains as an invaluable lasting resource for all researchers. In her Introduction Harrison (Harrison 1987:7) grouped together all the native populations in Canada at the time of contact suggesting a unified and unifying pan-Aboriginal world-view informed by myths and legends.

1987 In his publication Museums of Influence, Kenneth Hudson described how he had visited 37 museums that made significant changes in the 200 years of museology. He dismissed ethnographic museums as those that exhibited objects from exotic cultures without attempting to communicate essentials features of the societies more easily conveyed through film, video or even lectures. He laments the absence of ambitions, fears, poverty, disease, climate, cruelty, brutality, blood, sense, smell and therefore cohesion to the exhibits. “Ethnographical museums collect widely but do not dig deeply” (Hudson 1987:vii) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1988 The “Lubicon Lake Cree organized a boycott of The Spirit Sings, the cultural showcase of the Winter Olympics in Calgary. Museums were asked not to lend objects for the display, and many people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, refused to attend. The boycott did a great deal to raise awareness of the issues, and as a result of the conflict, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) formed a task force with a mandate to “develop an ethical framework and strategies for Aboriginal Nations to represent their history and culture in concert with cultural institutions”.6 The task force report sets out guiding principles, policies and recommendations on repatriation and calls for the creation of new relationships to serve the needs of Aboriginal people and the interests of Canadian cultural and heritage institutions. (See Appendix 6A to this chapter for excerpts from the report.)” RCAP

1988 Marybelle Mitchell wrote an article entitled “Current Issues Facing Museums” published in the Inuit Art Quarterly. In 1988 200 delegates met.

1988 Clifford went on to give a powerful example from a museum. The Portland Museum of Art houses the Rasmussen Collection, a series of masks, [end of page 98] headdresses, and other objects collected from southeastern Alaska during the 1920s. When the museum made plans to reinstall and reinterpret the collection in the late 1980s, it decided to involve Tlingit elders as consultants from early stages. A dozen prominent elders, representing clans that originally owned the objects, were invited to travel to Portland, Oregon. During a planning session at the museum, objects were brought out, and elders were asked to speak about them. Clifford describes how he and the curatorial staff, focusing on the objects, waited expectantly for some sort of detailed explication about how each object functioned, who made it, what powers it had within Tlingit society. Instead, he reports, the object acted as memory aids for the telling of elaborate stories and the singing of many songs. As these stories and songs were performed, they took on additional meanings. An octopus headdress, for example, evoked narratives reaching about a giant octopus that once blocked a bay, preventing salmon from state and federal agencies regulating the right of Tlingits to take salmon, so what was started as a traditional story took on precise political meanings in terms of contemporary struggles. “And in some sense the physical objects, at least as I saw it, were left at the margin. What really took center stage were the stories and songs.” (1) From Julie’s Cruikshank The Social Life of Stories: Narrative and Knowledge in the Yukon Territory.

1989 In 1989, “the editors of the first book on history museums in the United States complained about a “blanket of critical silence” surrounding the subject. In 1992, the British museum specialist Eilean Hooper-Greenhill observed that the museum as a historical institution had not received “any rigorous form of critical analysis.” Other scholars and critics chimed in around the same time.1 As it happened, a tidal wave of museum studies was just beginning to crest, many proclaiming critical agendas while complaining about their absence. The problem these days is how to navigate a flood of literature on the theory, practice, politics, and history of museums” (Starns 2005).

1989-90 Dr. Jeanne Cannizzo curated an exhibition mounted by the Royal Ontario Museum entitled “Into the Heart of Africa.” It was the most controversial show in the history of the ROM. A vocal opposition arose against cultural racism and appropriation. Cannizzo stated that the goal of the exhibition was to represent the impact of colonialism on Africa. However the 375 artifacts from central and west Africa used were donated around 1889 and onwards to the ROM by Canadian missionaries and military personnel who spent some time in Africa and fully supported Britain’s colonial campaign which imposed “Christianity, civilization and commerce” on Africans. Cannizzo misread her audiences and attempted to use the postmodern trope of irony to draw attention to racist terms such as ‘barbarous customs.’ In fact there were at least two divergent audiences. A misinformed general public read the exhibition as a uncritical cultural exhibition of primitive Africa and the good work of Canadian missionaries and soldiers. The large African-Canadian population of Toronto interpreted the exhibition as a racist assault. A slide show lecture containing highly derogatory, culturally racist, and paternalistic language played framed with a critical introduction and conclusion to situate viewers within the racist colonial context. But most people read it as ‘real’ without the critical postmodern lens of irony. Tour guides had no training in colonial histories or cultural sensitivities and presented the exhibition literally without understanding the critical ironic trope. The guide explained to Grade five children how missionaries taught Africans to carve wood and described African barbaric acts. “This case study crystallizes many of the issues related to cultural racism and cultural appropriation. Nourbese Philip (1993) suggests that at the heart of the ROM controversy are changing beliefs about the role and function of museums and other cultural institutions, especially the issue of who should have the power to represent and control images created by “others.” The traditional values and practices of institutions such as museums are difficult to change. One analyst poses an important question about the ROM controversy: Would the institution have supported a more critical approach to the subject? Would it have risked offending its important patrons, some of whom donated artifacts to the collection? (Butler, 1993:57).”(See the Colour of Democracy).

1990 ? Crossroads of Continents exhibition at the Museum of Natural History disseminated new research and scholarly understandings (in Karp and Levine 1991:315)

1990s There has been an exponential growth of the number of local museums and the expansion of large museums in the 1990s has been referred to as the big bang by former ICOM director Hugues de Varine.

1990 “The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is a Federal law passed in 1990. NAGPRA provides a process for museums and Federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items — human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony — to lineal descendants, and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. NAGPRA includes provisions for unclaimed and culturally unidentifiable Native American cultural items, intentional and inadvertent discovery of Native American cultural items on Federal and tribal lands, and penalties for noncompliance and illegal trafficking. In addition, NAGPRA authorizes Federal grants to Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and museums to assist with the documentation and repatriation of Native American cultural items, and establishes the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee to monitor the NAGPRA process and facilitate the resolution of disputes that may arise concerning repatriation under NAGPRA.”

1991 This is a performance art piece by poststructuralist artist. Her work is situated under institutional criticism. In it Andrea Fraser toured an exhibition of the work of contemporary artist Allan McCollum shown at the American Fine Arts Gallery in New York City. She presented the tour in two voices, her own and that of Ms. Jane Castleton), a fictional character, Fraser’s alter ego who was a museum volunteer docent with little understanding of modern art.

1991 Rabbi Michael Berenbaum was project director of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Public awareness of the holocaust had heightened since 1978. Jewish suffering was once considered to be a footnote of WWII. This was changed and the horrendous crime was acknowledged.

1991 Ayanna Black (1991:27 in Creane cited in Barrett 2004) critiqued the Royal Ontario Museum’s infamous exhibition “Into the Heart of Africa.” She described the situation as follows, “They used the propaganda of the period without proper explanation or preamble. [The curator] did not want to manipulate the material, but she ended up implanting racist images because the critique of ‘intellectual arrogance’ did not come through. People missed it.” Cannizzo, a contract curator who had trained as a social and cultural anthropologist had done fieldwork experience in Sierra Leone misread her audience.

1991 Mieke Bal (1991) critiqued the Royal Ontario Museum’s infamous exhibition “Into the Heart of Africa” in a diachronics article entitled “The Politics of Citation.” He argued that the reproduction of racist, colonial imagery leads to reinscribing the very attitudes and assumptions that the critic is attempting to expose and analyse. Great care must be made to frame this imagery in such a way that the critique – and not the racist content – predominate. It is fair to ask whether ‘Into the Heart of Africa” did this. Many of the images were troubling for viewers who felt assaulted by the racist perspective embodied (Bal 1991:31 PC in D); museology, politics of representation;

1991 Lee-Ann Martin submitted her commissioned report to the Canada Council entitled “The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion: Contemporary Native Art and Public Art Museums in Canada.” It was the catalyst for the Visual Arts Section’s Acquisition Assistance Program (1996-9) offering monetary incentives to encourage Canada’s fifty-six public galleries to purchase contemporary art by Canada’s First Peoples (Jessup 2002:xxv).

1991 A “blockbuster about the history of Glasgow […] developed at the cost of $4.7 million left out all the painful and embarrassing parts of Glasgow history. The exhibition went ahead and failed to meet all marketing expectations (McLaughlin 1998 citing King, E. 1991. Access to Resources, CAMA conference paper. Adelaide, SA. PP 130-131).”

1991 Kenneth Hudson in “Misleading Ethnographical Museums” argued that experts in ethnography are “very knowledgeable about what is usually described as the “traditional culture” [..] but are much less informed about what is going on in the same country today” (Hudson 1991:459). He continued his argument that this lack of knowledge of the contemporary everyday life is acceptable in an exhibition of ancient Roman art since most museum goers are familiar with Italian culture today. It is less neither responsible nor constructive to exhibit traditional artefacts from Ghana without contextualizing them, since the average person may have the impression that Ghana today has remained as it was hundreds of years ago. He recognised that objects alone cannot convey the ambiguities and contradictions of contemporary everyday life of Bombay or Accra or even small town England. He praised an exhibition called Hunters of the North at the Museum of Mankind in London, UK for an installation showing families in the ‘traditional’ igloo and the portable hut. Did this exhibition manage to show anything of

1991 ROM under fire again over 1990 African exhibit: advisory panel members demanding unequivocal apology. ROM hoping to mend fences: Museum plans exhibition of Caribbean festival costumes. A rich sampling of Caribbean traditions: you may want to dismiss this ROM festival [ Caribbean Celebrations] as another crowd- pleasing gesture, but the centrepiece exhibit is worth catching

1992 “In 1992, the British museum specialist Eilean Hooper-Greenhill observed that the museum as a historical institution had not received “any rigorous form of critical analysis.” Other scholars and critics chimed in around the same time.1 As it happened, a tidal wave of museum studies was just beginning to crest, many proclaiming critical agendas while complaining about their absence. The problem these days is how to navigate a flood of literature on the theory, practice, politics, and history of museums” (Starns 2005).

1992 Assembly of First Nations [AFN] and Canadian Museums Association [CMA], Task Force Report on Museums and First Peoples, Turning the Page: Forging New Partnerships Between Museums and First Peoples (Ottawa: 1992).

1994 The Heard Museum hosted a conference entitled “Navajo Weaving since the Sixties” attended by forty weavers and who presented detailed statements about their work. M’Closkey (2002:230-3) noted a sharp contrast between the presentations by the weavers and those made by dealers, museologists and textile experts who spoke of gallery aesthetics, the history of Navajo weaving and the quality of market-friendly rugs. Gloria Emerson of the Centre for Cultural Exchange at a New Mexico art institution commented on the chasm between the weavers and the scholars. She argued that the weavers should be generating the questions discussed at these conferences (M’Closkey 2002:233).

1994 Today “there are several reasons to stress the importance of local museums. At the same time we find big museums growing even bigger and observe an explosion in the number of small museums all over the world . The former ICOM director Hugues de Varine calls this a big-bang in the museum world, which makes it necessary to separate museums in two very different types: the process-museum and the institution-museum, the latter being the traditional museum” (Gjestrum 1994).

1994 The Metropolitan Museum in New York strategically aligned discount rental cars with their blockbuster exhibition of American Impressionism and Realism. The rental cars allowed visitors to visit places depicted in paintings in the exhibition. See Dobrzynski, J.H. 1994-05-09. “Impressionism Rides a Rental Car.” in Business Week:52-53.

1995 The “blockbuster creed” was widely accepted in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia by museum, art gallery and science centre directors. Director of the Australian National Gallery, Betty Churcher, argued that, “[Y]ou have to keep interesting your audience with something they otherwise don’t have an opportunity to see … The bonus of the blockbuster exhibition is that they come to see the blockbuster and they stay to look at the collection, so you are getting broader exposure for your permanent collection (Watson 1995-05-24 cited in McLaughlin 1998).”

1996 A conference organized by the Department of Ethnography of the British Museum entitled “Imagining the Arctic: The Native Photograph in Alaska, Canada and Greenland” was held in London, UK. Guest speakers included George Quviq Qulaut (Commissioner for Nunavut), Hugh Brody, Nelson Graburn, Elizabeth Edwards of Oxford’s Pit River Museum, Kesler Woodward, Alan R. Marcus who “explored the relationships between government policy and images of the Ahiarmut, as backdrop to the disastrous arctic relocations of the 1950s, Peter Geller presented hia paper on “Archibald Lang Fleming, first Anglican Bishop of the Arctic, as he disseminated a fascinating view of the “Eskimo” through his publications and lantern slide lectures; this was followed by a contemporary example of northern image-making, as Zebedee Nungak presented a series of slides documenting the recent political history of northern Quebec, as carried out by photographers for the Makivik Corporation of the Inuit of Nunavik.” See Peter Geller’s report.

1997-8 Statistics Canada reports that for the year 1997/98, there were some 46,400 volunteers directly engaged in museums and related heritage institutions. This represents about 65 % of the museum workforce on a national basis, including full-time and part-time paid workers. This does not include the vast network of related organizations, such as local Friends of Museums societies, historical societies and community service organizations, all of which contribute greatly to the work of their museums. Volunteers contribute to virtually all facets of museum operations, from facility maintenance, to administration, collections management, events management and public programming. The distribution of volunteers varies greatly across the country. For example, they represent over 95 % of the work force at museums in one province.” MUSE

1998 The first exhibition entitled “First Peoples, First Contacts” at the Museum of Man’s Gallery of North America at its new location at Bloomsbury opened. It was sponsored by the powerful Chase Manhattan Bank. The exhibition tells the story of the interaction of native Americans with the outsiders. The First Nations peoples represented in the Gallery are for the most part unfamiliar even to North Americans. They are represented as “half-forgotten, disgracefully patronised, different and enduringly fascinating peoples.” The story of curious Columbus is depicted without the usual overly romanticized sentiment. He is portrayed as the first of an onslaught of the “blatantly greedy and bigoted arrivistes, colonialists, sharks and expropriators.” Gallery of North America will feature rotating temporary exhibitions and will stay in situ for at least five years. See Henshall (1999) and J. C. H. King (1998 ) First Peoples, First Contacts, Museum of Mankind, London, UK: Chase Manhattan Gallery.

1999 Meanwhile, the museum was also being thoroughly absorbed by the markets and industries of culture under late capitalism.” See EndNote entry under Krauss (1999).

1999 Rosalind Krauss (1999) published a book entitled A Voyage on the North Sea criticizing art forms like his that had in her view, become fashionably vacuous, a shibboleth– installation art. “Krauss reflects that the notion of the specificity of medium as a foundation of the modern was shaken by Broodthaers ‘s practice and by the introduction of video technology in the 1960s. She anchors her historical narrative in the writing of Greenberg and Fried (in the latter’s reading of Maurice Merleau-Ponty) and in paintings by Jackson Pollock and Color Field painters, the sculptures of Richard Serra, and the structuralist films of Michael Snow, all of which registered a ‘new idea of aesthetic medium’ in new artistic conventions of opticality, which Krauss describes as foregrounding a ‘phenomenological vector’ in art that connects an object to a viewing subject. She forwards the notion that the construction of physical structure, even within the making of film, is constitutive of modern art: “For, in order to sustain artistic practice, a medium must be a supporting structure, generative of a set of conventions, some of which, in assuming the medium itself as their subject, will be wholly specific to it, thus producing an experience of their own necessity” (26). See EndNote entry under Krauss (1999).

2000 Izzie Asper became Canada’s new media lord as head of Canwest Global Communications. “After acquiring most of Hollinger’s newspapers and magazines, including half of the National Post, Asper now stands to be the most powerful figure in the history of Canadian media. A relentlessly tough businessman, he made a rather unexpected power play to dethrone Conrad Black and, although he might not be as grandiose about it, he now has more clout within Canada than Black ever did.” (Pundit Magazine). “Today, CanWest is one of Canada’s most profitable communication companies. In fiscal 2000 its net earnings were $162 million, with revenues totalling $1.08 billion and operating profits of $263 million. In July 2000, CanWest acquired most of Canada’s leading newspapers, as well as a 50 per cent stake in one of the country’s national dailies, The National Post. Earlier that month, federal regulators approved CanWest’s purchase of eight television stations, an acquisition that created Canada’s second-largest private television network under the banner of Global TV. Long before that, the corporation had forged an international broadcasting presence in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland” (Manitoba Government).

2004 Inuit artist Isaaci Etidloie and x Ashoona, daughter of renowned carver Kiaksuk Ashoona were among the Canadian Aboriginal artists present for the opening of the exhibition entitled Dezhan ejan – “medicine song” at the art gallery of the Canadian Embassy in Washington. The opening of the exhibition jointly sponsored by the Canada Council Art Bank and the Canadian Embassy took place in conjunction with the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian () at the Smithsonian. Ruth Phillips wrote the exhibition promotional brochure. Michael Kergin, Ambassador of Canada to the United States, stated, “Dezhan ejan is an expression of the unique and vibrant culture of Canadian Aboriginal artists. The ties between Aboriginal peoples in North America are long and rich in history, and continue to grow. It is our hope that the exhibition will serve to inform and expand this relationship, not only among Aboriginal communities, but for all Canadians and Americans.” Victoria Henry, Director of the Art Bank curated the exhibition of 18 works selected from the Canada Council’s collection of aboriginal art (Canada Council Press Release 2004). MFB

Partial Webliography and Bibliography

Elsen, Albert. 1984. “Blockbusters : the pros and cons of the “blockbuster” art exhibition.” Art Museum Association of Australia. 18 p. (Occasional papers).

Rosenfield, J.R. 1993. In the Mail: Museum Catalogues, Direct Marketing. November, pp 39-40.

Watson, B. 1995-05-24. “Defending the Blockbuster.” Morning Herald. Sydney, AU.
McLaughlin, Derina. 1998. “The blockbuster phenomenon: trends in Australia and overseas.” Australasian Science and Technology: Exhibitors Network. Focus on Issues.

“I ask your indulgence if I close on a personal, existential note. We live in a time when we are flooded with information in every field of endeavor, a deluge from which Freud scholarship is not exempt. It has has become a veritable industry over which it is difficult to maintain even bibliographical control. The amount of sheer information increases incessantly. I confess that I have reached an age when I am haunted by the question of when information becomes knowledge. What I have presented here is only a special instance of that larger Angst. I am perhaps not yet old enough to seek the further line where knowledge becomes wisdom (Yerushalmi Series Z 1997).”

Flynn-Burhoe. 2000. ‘Memory – The Question of Archives’ Review of Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayim. 1997. Series Z: An Archival Fantasy’ Journal of European Psychoanalysis – Number 3-4 1997

Derrida’s presentation Archive Fever at the 1994 conference “Memory: The Question of Archives” was dedicated to Yerushalmi whose book Freud’s Moses had moved him. The conference was hosted by the Freud Museum and the Société Internationale d’Histoire de la Psychanalyse, London, June 3-5, 1994 and organized by Elisabeth Roudinesco. [Y.H.Y.]

Yerushalmi began his text with a Kakfaesque description of the archives’ doorkeeper. It is a thinly disquised reproach for the exclusivity of access to Freud’s archives, particularly to series Z. Yerushalmi was dismayed to find that access to Series Z, Freud’s archives in Washington, was severely limited to a group of insider scholars.

Yerushalmi notes the unique published citation by Freud where he used the term ‘archives,’ in an early paper (1898) on “The Psychical Mechanism of Forgetfulness” (Zum Psychischen Mechanismus der Vergesslichkeit). He writes:

Thus the function of memory, which we like to imagine as an archive open to any who is curious, is in this way subjected to restriction by a trend of the will…

Yerushalmi chose to focus his discussion only on archives. An archive is not a memory bank nor are the documents in an archive part of memory; “…if they were, we should have no need to retrieve them; once retrieved, they are often at odds with memory.”

Although Yerushami, the historian, has done research in archives in Lisbon, Madrid, Valladolid, Salamanca, Venice, Verona and Jerusalem but rarely in the Freud Archives.

Yerushalmi illustrated the persistence and continuity of the archivist as gatekeeper through the 1909 case of Robert Ross. Ross presented Oscar Wilde’s original manuscript of De Profundis to the British Museum on condition that it be sealed for sixty years to prevent it from falling into the hands of Lord Alfred Douglas, the agent of Wilde’s ruin. Through a 1913 libel suit Douglas, received a copy which he intended to publish. Ross speedily had his own copy published in New York which secured copyright. In 1949 Wilde’s son published the full and correct text but the British Museum respected Ross’ agreement and access is still denied.

Yerushalmi questions the logic behind restricting or forbidding access to certain documents well into the 21st century! He was not alone. Janet Malcolm’s 1984 publication “In the Freud Archives” made the inaccessibility une cause celebre.

Meanwhile, attacks against psychoanalysis, fused with assaults against the personal integrity of Freud himself, have by now reached an unprecedented crescendo of vilification. One result is a widespread belief that the real truth, for better or worse, is in the Archives, and that once they are fully accessible the truth will out. What both attackers and defenders of Freud have in common is a faith in the facticity of archives, in the archival document as somehow the ultimate arbiter of historical truth.

Yerushalmi traced the cult of the archive to the 1830’s and especially after 1860, when national governments eager to protect their collective histories, opened their archives to research. Lord Acton put the reason succinctly:

“To keep one’s archives barred against the historians was tantamount to leaving one’s history to one’s enemies.” Lord Acton

“The historians came, the writing of history (at least political history) was put on a firmer basis than ever before. It was the heyday of scientific history, full of optimism. The crisis of historicism was not yet on the horizon and the archival document seemed to herald a historiographical millennium. Paleography became a science and the archivist a professional, nowhere more superbly trained than at the École des Chartes, established in Paris in 1821. By the end of the century one spoke somewhat bemusedly in France of la fureur de l’inédit, the furor to publish the unpublished document.”

In “Monologue with Freud” Yerushalmi calls Freud’s archivists “zealous epigoni [who] have stationed themselves, like gnostic archons, to bar the way to the hidden knowledge.” (FM 1991:81)

By the late 20th century historians were more sophisticated; recognized the limitations of archival documents. And at that time series Z is unlocked. leading to anothfureur de l’inédit’. Yerushalmi questioned what that will change.

He described the ideal archival material:

  1. It should be naive, created for other purposes than research: the production, storage and maintenance of personal correspondence, tax records, contracts, deeds.
  2. It should be dusty from lack of handling. Half a century after the French Revolution a Prussian historian finally opened the dust-laden papers regarding the Reign of Terror, a proof of their legitimacy.
  3. The researcher recognizes that all archives are incomplete: not all documents are collected, archived and/or preserved. And any document requires contextualization by data both in and outside the archives and even the field of study.
  4. The “…archive is not a repository of the past, only of certain artifacts that have survived from the past, and we encounter them in the present. The contents of archival documents are not historical facts except on the most primitive level dates, names, places. The truly vital data in these documents do not become historical until, filtered through the mind and the imagination of the historian, they are interpreted and articulated.”

The zealous guardians of The Freud Archives including Anna Freud, Freud’s devoted daughter protected Freud’s reputation in the creation and maintenance of the archives. Yerushalmi compares these documents to “… André Gide’s journals, where one senses that as he writes one eye is gazing at posterity.” This contrasts with Kafka’s diaries, whose publication he never dreamed.

Freud’s papers have been handled regularly. Yerushalmi cites examples of discrepancies between Freud’s correspondance with Fliess and actual publications in which passages were excluded. “The most significant and irremediable gap in the Freud Archives is the result of Freud’s own doing. On two occasions [in 1885 and 1907], Ernest Jones observed, he completely destroyed all his correspondence, notes, diaries and manuscripts. The letter of April 28, 1885 to Martha, announcing his determination to thereby frustrate his future biographers, is too well-known to be quoted yet again.”

Yerushalmi concludes that “[n]othing in the Freud Collection nor in any other archive can possibly decide any of the major scientific or philosophical issues that have arisen in the ongoing controversies over Freud. No document can prove or disprove the validity of Freudian psychoanalytic theory nor the efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy. Infantile sexuality, the existence of the unconscious, the mechanisms of repression, and other central tenets of Freudian theory, are not subject to archival arbitration.”

“What do we really want to know, and how can the Archives be of help? My own order of priority would be: To understand Freud’s teaching; to understand the history of the psychoanalytic movement; to understand Freud’s life insofar as it relates to the first two goals.” “…[I]t entails coming as close as possible to his own intentions. This, as I have argued elsewhere must take pride of place. At least in his published works Freud was consciously trying to communicate various ideas to his readers. That these works, like all texts, also contain latent meanings of which he was unaware, that they can be approached with a variety of hermeneutic strategies, does not absolve us from rigorously seeking their conscious intentionality which, alone, can keep us from flying off the deep end. For that, not only is the value of a correct text self-evident, but any information relevant to its evolution, whether through variants or revisions, or through letters in which Freud discusses work in progress. It is in this sense that the letters in Series Z may make their most important contribution. But even then the archives are only an aid. Ultimately the student must bring to an understanding of Freud’s work his or her philological, literary, and historical instincts, and an entire culture derived from other fields. Philip Rieff’s Freud: The Mind of the Moralist (1959) remains, in my opinion, one of the most penetrating explorations of Freud’s thought. And Rieff never even consulted an archive. “

The history of the psychoanalytic movement (I have in mind only Freudian psychoanalysis). Here, surely, our men and women from many countries will have reaped abundant harvests. But how much wheat and how much chaff? Any history of the psychoanalytic movement cannot ignore the archives, but it must also transcend them. Once again all depends on how we conceptualize the problem. If we have in mind a historical narrative of its leading personalities, its congresses and schisms, its dispersal after the German catastrophe of 1933 and the Austrian of 1938, then certainly these and many other aspects will have been fleshed out by Series Z. But this kind of history remains business as usual. I shall take as an instance Phyllis Grosskurth’s The Secret Ring: Freud’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis published three years ago to considerable acclaim. Assuredly the book contains new and sometimes vivid details Ms. Grosskurth had spent time in several archives, including the Rank papers at my own university, and she writes well. For me, however, the book, like so many others in the genre, represents yet another missed opportunity. That Freud’s secret entourage, the Committee was racked by dissentions, backbiting, competition for Freud’s imperious favor, was essentially known. The issue that is never addressed, is how this group of quite imperfect and in many ways incompatible men were able to sustain and propogate not only a therapy, but a teaching that became a vital component of Modernism around the globe. And, in a larger sense, is this not the issue for any history of the psychoanalytic movement worthy of itself not merely to describe its inner workings or proselytizing activities, but to ask what prior spiritual or cultural needs did Freud’s teaching fulfill that enabled it to spread from a small group of Jews meeting in 1902 at Berggasse 19, to become what W.H. Auden called after Freud’s death a whole climate of opinion?”
I come finally to the vexing question of Freud’s biography and here I am prepared to abandon my parable. I am only certain that the men and women from many countries will not find anything of significance about Freud’s childhood and adolescence. That stumbling block to biographers, especially those who are psychoanalytically oriented, will remain. Some information about Freud’s parents may perhaps yet be found in Moravian and Viennese archives. As for Freud’s mature life, for reasons already given I doubt that very much of a sensational nature will be found in Series Z, though of course one cannot be sure. Once again, however, I feel that the really important issues extend beyond the archives.

“The other issue is so vital and so complex as to require a conference of its own. I have in mind the relation between biography and a person’s achievement. How much of the former do we need to know in order to understand the latter?[…] How much about Freud’s life must we know in order to interpret The Interpretation of Dreams? Or would our interpretation simply be different, with less ferreting for biographical links and more concentration on what he was trying to teach us? […]Ironically, it may have been Freud himself who first opened this Pandora’s Box, but let’s not hold this against him. Rather, let us ask must we really know whether Freud slept with Minna? Those who want to discover that he really did, are gripped by an unstated and faulty syllogism: a) Freud presented a public image of a devoted husband; b) Freud comitted incest with his sister-in-law; ergo Freud is not to be trusted, and so neither should his work… “

“I ask your indulgence if I close on a personal, existential note. We live in a time when we are flooded with information in every field of endeavor, a deluge from which Freud scholarship is not exempt. It has has become a veritable industry over which it is difficult to maintain even bibliographical control. The amount of sheer information increases incessantly. I confess that I have reached an age when I am haunted by the question of when information becomes knowledge. What I have presented here is only a special instance of that larger Angst. I am perhaps not yet old enough to seek the further line where knowledge becomes wisdom.”



Contact � Maureen Flynn-Burhoe 2000 for comments, corrections and copyright concerns.

“How does information become transformed into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom? (Yerushalmi 1994)? This commitment to rereading history from papyrus to hypertext parallels the commitment to philosophy from a cosmopolitical point of view. It is not merely theory for theory’s sake. Gatekeepers of the archives (and collective memory) wield power. Access to information is more than a legal right: it becomes an indicator by which effective democracies can be measured. (Derrida 1996a: 4). The mapping of archives of the infosphere needs to be concerned with uncompromised inclusivity as constitutive of a renewed, unbound, effective democracy in which plurality can co-exist with social cohesion. It requires a consistent and constant vigilance against complicity and complacence. It involves nurturing and encouraging diverse ways of seeing, knowing and remembering. The architecture of deconstruction facilitates the round-tables of discussions which invite, welcome and propel rather than discourage, exclude, dismiss and prevent convergences of divergent thoughts. The sparks of discord can illuminate the ashes and dust of the (missing) archives (Flynn-Burhoe 2000).

This is a blog version of a html webpage entitled “Mapping Memory: from Papyrus to Digitization: The Great Flood and the Arkh“. In 2000 (?) it was presented to a small eclectic group of dazzling student super-geeks and hackers brought together by a shared interest in the virtual and Carleton University star professor Rob Shields.

Abstract: This paper and webpage examines intersections between Jacques Derrida’s Archives Fever and texts, objects and events that informed Archive Fever: Plato’s Phaedrus, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism and Yerushalmi Freud’s Moses. (How) Is the authority of the archonte transformed by the digitization of archives? How can conceptual tools developed by Jacques Derrida enhance understanding of the concept of archives in this period of transformation? (How) can the structure of the archives allow for the co-existence of social cohesion and pluralism? To what extent is archival meaning co-determined by the structure of the archives? (Derrida 1996a: 16) To what extent is our access to knowledge, to collective memories barred by inadequate maps and ideological obstacles?

Keywords: archives, anarchives, digitization, cartography, pharmakon, plurality, democracy

With the digitization of data, archives have been inundated with a tidal wave of information. The great flood of the archives is both cause and effect of an expanding collective electronic memory and an enlarging field of inquirers and inquiries. Cultural groups resisting the homogenous mass culture of globalization, an increasingly informed citizenry insisting on accountability in governance and grass roots movements involved in risk management excavate the archives to legitimize claims and trace memories (Wallot 1996: 23).

In this complex infosphere of ‘…shifting nationhood, evolving governance, mutating organizations, and changing forms of records’ archivists attempt to maintain a creative tension and complementarity between their hybrid roles as gatekeepers of evidence and map-makers of society’s ‘…long-term memory, identity and values formation and transmission’ (Wallot 1996: 23). This involves nothing less than a re-examination of the theoretical roots and conceptual framework of the professional roles of archivists (Wallot 1996: 24).

In 1994 an international conference in London, organized by the Freud Museum and the Société Internationale d’Histoire de la Psychanalyse, focussed on ‘Memory: The Question of Archives.’ Derrida’s presentation Archives Fever which lasted over three hours was dedicated to Jewish historian, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi whose ‘handsome’ book Freud’s Moses provided a catalyst for his own. Yerushalmi’s frustrated attempts at accessing certain exclusive archives while conducting his research on Freud, led to his paper ‘‘Series Z: : An Archival Fantasy’ presented at the same conference.

Derrida juxtaposes reflections on memory and archives with Freud’s psychoanalysis. Freud’s archives in Freud’s Museum, London and in the Library of Congress consist of thousand of items collected and stored under protective guardianship. Yet the archons of the corpus of the most-quoted man of the twentieth century seem to break all the rules of archival practice: the archived items are neither innocent, accessible nor dusty. Freud’s archives were not naive: they were self-conscious, wary of censorship therefore self-censored and incomplete. Freud’s own secrecy rivaled that of Goethe who was a ‘… great self-revealer, but also in the abundance of autobiographical records, a careful concealer’ (Freud 1930: 212). But then all archives are incomplete repositories, containing only those objects and artifacts that have survived the past (Yerushalmi 1994).

Even with the best archival practice the archival documents cannot be historical facts. Vital archival objects are articulated or constructed as historical in an interpretive process through the mind and imagination of the historian. History is constructed from documents retrieved from archival storage. And archival material can be constructed to contradict memory (Yerushalmi 1994).

‘Psychoanalysis aspires to be a general science of the archive, of everything that can happen to the economy of meaning and to […] its traces.’ The science (or art) of psychoanalysis depends on memory as data. Freud’s human subject achieved freedom from neurosis through memory management. In the economy of psychoanalysis memories can be called up, evoked, transmitted, named, categorized and relativized.

What is the nature of transmission of memories? Freud suggested ways of remembering that were relevant to psychoanalysis and inaccessible to ordinary histories. But he only once used the term ‘archives’ as a metaphor for memory. In 1898 he imagined memory as an open, accessible archive that was subjected to the will. He discarded the inadequate metaphor: memories can be stored but not all can be retrieved. (Yerushalmi 1991 Freud [1898]) Yerushalmi concluded that Freud abandoned the term ‘archives’ as a metaphor for memory since they have ‘…nothing in common. Memory is not an archive, nor is archive a memory bank’ (Yerushalmi 1994).

Archives, even Freud’s official Archives were not ‘the ultimate arbitrar of historical truth’ about Freud as it was widely believed by both his defenders and his attackers (Yerushalmi 1994). In spite of the sophistication of contemporary historians who recognize the limitations of archival documents, the unlocking of Freud’s most secretive archives, Series Z, led to a ‘fureur de l’inédit.’ This fury to publish previously unpublished archival documents was reminiscent of the 19th century heyday of scientific history informed by the cult of the archives. In the 1830s through the 1860s national governments opened their archives to research in an effort to protect their collective histories. Lord Acton proclaimed, ‘To keep one’s archives barred against the historians was tantamount to leaving one’s history to one’s enemies’ (Yerushalmi 1994).

Like an archaeologist, Derrida excavates the concepts of archives and memory. These pharmakon-like concepts contain both the cure and the poison. This homeopathy of thinking describes ‘archive’ as open, visible, accessible and undivided. Archives become an indicator, evidence, witness, a way of rewriting history, a return to origins, a return to the archaic, a search for lost time, scar-like traces on the surfaces of the body and an archeology of the surface. But archives are also dormant, lost, dissimulated, forbidden, censored, destroyed and incinerated. Through the secret archives or anarchives Derrida raises questions of transmission in the economy of memory. (1996a)

Derrida’s impressions of l’actualité have left their mark around the globe. Situating himself as one who lives between two worlds, a world citizen who is Jewish-French but also Algerian he argues for a philosophy from a cosmopolitico view point where transmission and alterité become the centre. In international conferences spanning three decades with diverse groups: arabo-islamic intellectuals, UNESCO, the Société Internationale d’Histoire de la Psychanalyse or at John Hopkins University, he challenges complacency and complicity. He reveals how philosophy is not shackled by an exclusive, solitary memory or language: it is stereoscopic, polyglot, multi-linear even bastardized, crossbred and spliced. He calls for a new role for philosophy, one in which a rereading of Plato, for example, becomes as urgent a task as new scientific results (Derrida 1996b). He adds a third space to columns of binary opposites: a space of tension, of sparks generated from divergent viewpoints (1981:73).

Derrida cites and questions Plato’s separation of live memory mneme from hypomneme. Archives are hypomneme along with inventories, citations, copies, lists and genealogies (1981:107). The archives are an extension of writing, commodified by power brokers, the sophists. Socrates’ words written by Plato, upheld the ‘art of memory.’ Writing was imperfect memory or even forgetfulness, dependent on signs; it was nonknowledge (1981:105). The recital of 25,000 lines of Homeric verse over several days was a manifestation of the living word, of knowledge, of the promise of limitless memory. But Socrates, “he who does not write” was written. When Derrida came upon a 14th century Italian print from the Bodleian Library, reproduced mechanically as a postcard he was enchanted. It became a visual metaphor for the archival object: in the scriptorium Socrates is writing with Plato standing behind him. By examining the relationship between the two fathers of meaning in Western thought, Derrida opened a space for a rethinking of transgenerational patriarchal transmission. He brought Freud’s ghost, his archives and his historian into the discussion. He reveals how secret archives and powerful archons dissimulate.

Derrida speaks and writes in a ‘scriptless’ hypertext, where intertextualitity can either enrich or confuse. Derrida’s reflections on Plato, Freud, Yerushalmi are constructed into complex layers of texts that defy a linear structure such as this paper. Its content is better adapted to the nonlinear format of the webpage. Fascinating and thought-provoking connections can be extrapolated following Derrida’s lead from papyrus to digitization. Both Plato and Freud circuitously lead us to the Black Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton who introduced a form of monotheistic religion c. 1379 – 1362 BCE with Aton the god of the universe subsuming both Thoth the moon god and Amon-re or Amen the sun god. Plato as scribe for Socrates used a myth to discredit myth over logos. In Socrates’ version of the myth Thamus disparaged Theuth (Thoth) for inventing writing along with alchemy, geometry, astronomy and calculations. Theuth not only writes and represents Amon-Ra; he effectively replaced the god himself.

Freud investigated Egyptian monotheism as possible source of Moses’ monotheism. To these layers I would suggest another, accessible through archives that are still underused by western inquirers. Questions of intellectual genealogy and inheritance can be enriched (although not answered) by accessing Islamic archives. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Ptolmeac corpus influenced Islamic thought. Islamic law was informed by Solomon’s judicial system. Further in these archives monotheism is traced to the Patriarch common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Abraham. How would Socrates hypothetical journeys to Palestine and Syria and the possible influence of Hebrew sages on Socrates himself impact on the concept of bastardized, hybridized and spliced philosophies? Answers as evidence are not the issue. The answers to Freud’s question ‘Was Moses Egyptian?’ like Yerushalmi’s ‘Is psychoanalysis a Jewish science?’ take second place to the open-ended questions themselves.

Derrida’s papyrus and postcard connection led to the Bodleian Library. While reading my library copy of Postcards, the ghostlike presence of the postcard became so tangible, I almost expected ‘a missing letter’ scratched on the back of Plato and Socrates to fall out from between the pages. Following Derrida’s trail electronically I accessed the Bodleian Library’s medieval print section. The Bodleian Library seemed elusive, even exclusive: it is the main research library of the University of Oxford used by scholars from around the world. However, a number of their collections of medieval manuscripts are now available around the globe on-line. The mechanical reproduced images that appeared on my screen leaving their impressions were from Dante’s Divine Commedia. In a northern Italian 14th century illustration Dante and Virgil observe Mohammed and Ptolemy, both condemned to inferno for their heresies. The same medieval censorship that suppressed Ptolemy’s Geographia, and denied the monotheism of Islam, had also misread Socrates and Plato.

Was Artaud referring to Ptolemy when he proclaimed: ‘The library at Alexandria can be burnt down. There are forces above and beyond papyrus: we may temporarily be deprived of our ability to discover these forces, but their energy will not be suppressed’ (1981: 53). Instead the secret archives becomes a spectre, a ghost, a phantom protecting itself from detection, repression, censorship and destruction.

An entire corpus of Greek knowledge was rejected by early Christians fearful that the spherical globe violated their fundamental religious beliefs. Navigation and cartography are inextricably interwoven. Yet the historiography of cartography of our biosphere is one of ransacked, missing, secret and recovered archives. In 391 AD Christians mobs sacked the Alexandrian library including Ptolemy’s research. As Librarian of the Alexandrian, he had inherited centuries of Greek scholarship which he published in the Geographia. Arabo-Islamic scholars, unbridled by Christian fear of ‘Greek science’ translated and developed Ptolemaic maps for their journeys to India, Tibet and China. In 1154 Al-Idrisi, Arabo-Islamic geographer in a Sicilian court created a world map influenced by Ptolemy. The European period of world-wide expansion took place only after Medieval maps were replaced by Ptolemy’s science. McLuhan suggested that without maps as a means of communication “the world of modern science and technology would hardly exist” (McLuhan 1964: 157-8). What will be the suppressed memories, the missing links on the maps of the infosphere, on the maps of the archives? Who decides the grid and the structure?

Digitized, indexed and linked image, stills and motion, sound and text can be mapped by one author then unwrapped and re-mapped by an active reader. Virtual objects seem to float dislocated from space and time connected only by links, those ‘arrows frozen in time’ (Shields 2000). Once reproduced electronically, an urn, an 11th century map, a postcard letter or the Bodleian’s 14th century version of Dante’s Commedia are wrenched from the structure, context and content. John le Carré stated, ‘Nothing exists without a context.’ Descriptions and explanations can be lost leaving ‘vast holes in memory.’ Or the opposite can occur: Navigational tools, maps and charts can reintegrate structure to context and content (Wallot 1996: 14). Through electronic embedding, for example, virtual images of Inuit sculptures, those silent ambassadors of a dynamic living culture, can hyperlink context and content in rich layers of information.

Concept maps are not innocent; they become tools for data interpretation and ways of assigning value and meaning. Maps are not draped over reality; they exclude. They are like Derrida’s archontes, the archivists who wield authority (and power) over data, its interpretation, its storage and its accessibility. The archontes of electronic archives decide what is collected, described and classified or ignored, destroyed or virtually left hanging, unmapped and disconnected. What happens to the ‘other’ in cyber archives? If categories are not created, do they no longer exist? If there are no pointers, can they be found? Could the holocaust have happened in the age of electronic mail? Would there have been electronic traces of the crematoria?

“But of the secret itself, there can be no archive, by definition. The secret is the very ash of the archive. . .” Derrida’s concept of archives bridges the technical, political, ethical and judicial with poetry and ghosts. In Feu le cendre the holocaust ashes of the crematoriums contain traces of memories, names, letters, photos, personal objects and even keys. The ashes become the pharmakon. They are both cure and poison; they remain but are gone. They are the incomplete archives, traces of the disappeared, traces that speak of that ‘other’ memory.

The censorship of psychoanalysis, ‘a Jewish science’ led to an ethos of protective secrecy about Freud’s archives which continued throughout the 20th century. In 1885 and again in 1907 Freud completely destroyed all his correspondence, notes, diaries and manuscripts (Yerushalmi 1994). He wrote Moses and Monotheism, his only work specifically on a Jewish theme on the eve of Nazi occupation of Austria. Shortly after Freud’s forced exile to England and the completion of his manuscript, Freud died. His inquiry into the history of monotheism was a questioning of the role of religion itself. Was it possible to trace suppressed memories of a people as one can with individuals? Would such a project reduce religion to that of a social neurosis caused by deeply embedded and suppressed trans-generational memories? Freud wrote his first manuscripts knowing that censorship would prevent it from being read, at least in his lifetime. Catholic authorities were critical of psychoanalysis: this manuscript would provoke even greater antagonism. After his death any literature on psychoanalysis uncovered by the Nazis was incinerated as ‘Jewish literature.’ But Freud’s psychoanalysis of Jewish history and Judaism also sent a shock wave through the Jewish community. He hypothesized, like Otto Rank in 1909, that Moses was born to a Egyptian princess not to a Hebrew woman. Freud suggesting that Moses’ monotheistic religion was actually based on an existing Egyptian monotheistic religion, Aten. Further he sought out clues to Moses’ murder. In effect Freud was dismantling the Jewish claim to uniqueness. Freud died before the manuscript was published, without ever knowing the holocaust. He wrote for a secret archives, knowing readers were not ready, nor would they be until sometime in the future. Derrida describes the writing that seeks dissimulation as anarchives, the ‘other’ archives, the secret archives hidden from the flames of repression.

Yerushalmi’s book Freud’s Moses became an appeal to the spectre of Freud to reveal the contents of the secret archives, to provide answers that the archives did not hold. How did Freud’s personal life relate to his teaching or to the history of the psychoanalytic movement? In the final dramatic, audacious chapter entitled ‘Monologue with Freud,’ Yerushalmi addresses Professor Freud’s spectre in a ‘fiction which [he] somehow do[es] not feel to be fictitious’ (Yerushalmi 1991:81). Yerushalmi implores Freud to reveal to him “When your daughter [Anna in 1977 declared that psychoanalysis was a Jewish science] conveyed those words to the congress in Jerusalem, was she speaking in your name?”

Was Freud being loyal to Judaism, through disloyality? Was he recognizing its weaknesses without rejecting it outright? Was he refusing alienation and victimization? Was he protecting his own true subjective freedom by refusing to accept in its entirety an inherited ethnicity, religion, culture or nationality (Derrida 1996c)?

Yerushalmi did not expect the archives to provide evidence of Freud’s relationship to Judaism. But did he perhaps hope that Freud’s collection of antiquities would reveal some specifically Jewish objects? None were exhibited in a traveling exhibition of Freud’s antiquities in 1989. However, a year later exhibition curator Dr. Gamwell informed Yerushalmi, after he had sent off his manuscript, that at the Freud Museum in London, objects had been found “which are related to Freud’s Jewishness.” Included in the list of items was a Hanukkah Menorah which was in Freud’s study during his lifetime and a 1913 postcard to Karl Abraham which shows the arch of Titus. On the image depicting the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE with soldiers removing the Menorah from the Temple, Freud wrote, “The Jew survives it!” (Yerushalmi 1991).

Freud used his vast collection of antiquities from Greece, Rome and Egypt to illustrate his remarks during his therapy sessions. He compared the relatively unchanging nature of the unconscious to the antique objects in the study which had been entombed and preserved, then uncovered, unchanged.

The pivotal object however was the rebound bible which Freud’s father had presented to Freud on his thirty-fifth birthday in May, 1891. Yerushalmi became the first guardian, reader, doctor and the only legitimate archon (Derrida 1995:22) of Jacob Freud’s Hebrew dedication, which Derrida himself analysed in detail. Derrida described the law makers who create and maintain the archives: Freud’s father, Freud, Yerushalmi and the “arch-archiving of the family Bible of the arch-patriarch of psychoanalysis in the arca, cupboard, prison cell, cistern, reservoir.” (Derrida 1995:23) Using this specifically Jewish artifact Derrida ties together strands that had been threading through Dissemination, Feu le cendres, Postcards and Archives Fever. The impression is left by the Jewish father on his son. The one who writes is written by the father in the pre-Socratic language. The new skin of the Bible is covered with scar-like traces as reminders, as ways of remembering. The Bible as gift to the son continues to be the gift to Yerushalmi who yearned for the spectral presence of Freud.

The archives provide a deluge of information. But haunting questions remain: how does information become transformed into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom? (Yerushalmi 1994)? This commitment to rereading history from papyrus to hypertext parallels the commitment to philosophy from a cosmopolitical point of view. It is not merely theory for theory’s sake. Gatekeepers of the archives (and collective memory) wield power. Access to information is more than a legal right: it becomes an indicator by which effective democracies can be measured. (Derrida 1996a: 4). The mapping of archives of the infosphere needs to be concerned with uncompromised inclusivity as constitutive of a renewed, unbound, effective democracy in which plurality can co-exist with social cohesion. It requires a consistent and constant vigilance against complicity and complacence. It involves nurturing and encouraging diverse ways of seeing, knowing and remembering. The architecture of deconstruction facilitates the round-tables of discussions which invite, welcome and propel rather than discourage, exclude, dismiss and prevent convergences of divergent thoughts. The sparks of discord can illuminate the ashes and dust of the (missing) archives.

CC 2000Maureen Flynn-Burhoe for comments, corrections and copyright concerns.

Dendrons, Pisces and the CosmosThis layered image 1440 x 900 at 300 dpi is one stage of the development of my next digitage entitled "Digitage Web2.0 Plus." It is an update on Logo Digitage ( http://snurl.com/25nqe ) in my Flickr album that was the basis for slideshare.net .ppt called Deconstructing Digitage: Web 2.0 as Organic Rhizomic Synapses which has had 1859 views since first uploading 8 months ago.

A comment from slideshare.net cofounder Amit Ranjanon ( http://snurl.com/266mt ) on the .ppt about the low resolution along with the need for .ppt default sizes for to increase shareability, led me to revisit the original .psd file and the .jpg components.

Each layer is being revisited and updated as I learn more about Adobe Photoshop tools and more about each of the component metaphorical images embedded in the many layers. At the same time I am learning more about the organic growth of Web 2.0 Plus (also called Web 3.0, etc). Aggregators and microblogging technologies like twitter http://snurl.com/25t6 have enhanced and simplified connectivity while confusing virtual cartographic projects to visualize the blogosphere as it grows exponentially. I learn from others and also by playing with new technological tools. I remain a bricoleuse, better able to find things in the virtual thrift stores that might come in handy one day. I don’t like to learn by following anymore than the basic instructions and the need-to-know-how things for reasons of security or time-efficiency.

This entry is posted on speechless.

Folksonomy for Flickr

View ocean.flynn’s map
Taken in a place with no name (See more photos or videos here)
This layered image 1440 x 900 at 300 dpi is one stage of the development of my next digitage entitled “Digitage Web2.0 Plus.” It is an update on Logo Digitage ( snurl.com/25nqe ) in my Flickr album that was the basis for slideshare.net .ppt called Deconstructing Digitage: Web 2.0 as Organic Rhizomic Synapses which has had 1859 views since first uploading 8 months ago.

A comment from slideshare.net cofounder Amit Ranjanon ( snurl.com/266mt ) on the .ppt about the low resolution along with the need for .ppt default sizes for to increase shareability, led me to revisit the original .psd file and the .jpg components.

Each layer is being revisited and updated as I learn more about Adobe Photoshop tools and more about each of the component metaphorical images embedded in the many layers. At the same time I am learning more about the organic growth of Web 2.0 Plus (also called Web 3.0, etc). Aggregators and microblogging technologies like twitter snurl.com/25t6 have enhanced and simplified connectivity while confusing virtual cartographic projects to visualize the blogosphere as it grows exponentially. I learn from others and also by playing with new technological tools. I remain a bricoleuse, better able to find things in the virtual thrift stores that might come in handy one day. I don’t like to learn by following anymore than the basic instructions and the need-to-know-how things for reasons of security or time-efficiency.

Flickr groups to which this image belongs: Art & Theory Nobs (Pool), Folksonomy (Pool); Digg It Flickr. Pool (Pool) [X]

Flickr folksonomy: folksonomy, flickr, digitage, creation, creativecommons, connectivity, blogging, adobephotoshop, 1440×900, microblogging, mindbrain, mind, neuralarchitectonics, neuroscience, portrait, powerpoint, powerpointbackground, presentation, raptureofthedeepinternet, reflexivity, rhizome, sharingpresentations, selfportrait, slides, slideshare, synapses, synapticgasp, tagclouds, tagging, taxonomy, technology, theoryinpictures, twitter, vastation, visualization, visualizations, web20, wordpresscom,