Ethical Museum Storage Practices: Native Californian Cultural Possessions in Museum Repositories

Charles W. Houston :

Mentor: Professor Patricia Penn Hilden, Ethnic Studies

To better understand the relationship between Native Californians and museology, Charles will visit five nationally known museums that house Native Californian cultural possessions, in order to research the techniques and methods employed in cataloging, storing and caring for Native Californian possessions. He will then critically analyze the data he collects, in order to explore the racialization of museum practices vis-à-vis indigenous possessions and to recommend more culturally sensitive methods for archiving them. He intends to submit the results of his study as his Native American Studies Senior Honors Thesis. Charles will also use his findings to inspire other Native Californians to work with museologists to ensure that their Native cultural possessions are properly cared for while inside museums.