Archivist’s Alley Goes to AMIA 2018, Pt 3: Bob Curtis-Johnson, Alaska’s Moving Image Treasures and Strong Indigenous Voices

Getting to meet and chat with Bob Curtis-Johnson was super cool. I probably could’ve hung out with him for hours. To be honest, even emailing with Bob is awesome- I get to find out whether he’s spotted polar bears or not and what the temperature and light situation is. Which is like…so different from my life here in LA. Plus? I know from talking and hanging out with him at this past AMIA that he’s handling all that AND contributing in a huge way to the archives and preservation world so…my mind just sorta goes WOAH !!!!!
I don’t know how I never met Bob before this past AMIA. We must’ve been dancing around the same committees and people for the last 8 years and just never connected. I am just so happy that we were able to do that here.

His company, Summit Day Media, is based out of Anchorage and that was so exciting to me (it still is)! I was so thrilled to be able to talk to him about the amazing work that he accomplishes regularly and the insane lengths that he and his colleagues go to really make a difference in people’s lives and to work with communities to help preserve their histories.

I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I loved having it. Bob and the people he works with are all super rockstars. Huge fan of Alaska, now. Big fan. <3

This time we have some REALLY incredible photos from Bob so as usual, just after the link for the podcast download, don’t forget to check out his bio and these amazing pics & the information. Just great!!!

Bio:

Bob Curtis-Johnson is the owner and principal consultant for SummitDay LLC located in Anchorage Alaska, specializing in audiovisual media preservation for clients that include corporations, museums and archives in eight U.S. states. SummitDay has over a decade of experience in mass digitization project management, digital media management, storage environment assessment, a/v media assessment, and development of preservation and disaster plans. Bob has also produced, directed or edited dozens of documentaries, commercials, and artistic and sponsored films for National Geographic Explorer, Black Entertainment Television, The Discovery Channel, PBS and othersL

Links: 
http://summitdaymedia.com

https://fm.kuac.org/post/drums-winter-interview

 


This is a shot of SummitDay staff Mike R. Martz and Keenan Troll performing quality control verification on preservation files (2018).

Picture of Bob Curtis-Johnson and his friend Anagi (pronounced “ON-a-way”) Whitlam Adams (now deceased), taken in Utqiagvik (known at that time as Barrow), Alaska, at a Nalukataq whaling celebration. Bob notes that, “Anagi was an artist and carver, former whaling captain, and a film donor.”

This is a 2009 photo of staff and family members from the Inupiaq Heritage Center in Utqiagvik, at the summer whaling celebration. Chris Danner (in the sunglasses) was part of the staff and also a member of a successful whaling crew that season. The Inupiaq have lived and whaled in this region for 10,000 years, and hunting is a deeply important part of their culture as well as a crucial component of their food security.

UKSUUM CAUYAI is a film of Yup’ik values and culture and is of a different group than the Inupiaq (people pictured above). This is the film mentioned in the podcast.

Anna St. Onge: Archival Labor, Community Content & Refocusing the Archival Narrative

Speaking to Anna was an absolute joy. We covered topics as diverse as Nice White Lady-ism to Open Source journal to language translation in cataloging. We also spoke at length about the challenges of getting funding when you’re not doing the kind of work that Big Money people care about and why it’s critically important to keep doing the work that Big Money people don’t seem to care about.

Anna is doing incredible work at York University and is a key figure of positive change, calling for high levels of care and attention for indigenous Canadian communities that York works with and looking to make certain  that the labor within her scope is fair and just. Her work and clear and ethical structure of archival outreach and development is one that I hope to see reflected in more archival organizations, especially in the United States. AND SOON. Please enjoy.

As usual, bio and links are below the episode link! I recommend you check them out!!


Bio:

Anna St.Onge is an archivist who is currently Director of Digital Scholarship Infrastructure at York University Libraries. She holds a B.A. in History and Celtic Studies from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Information Studies degree from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Archival Studies and Book History & Print Culture. She was previously a certified Nice White LadyTM but is working hard to undo decades of social programming.

Links:

The Portuguese Canadian History Project

 

Toronto Telegram Newspaper Photograph Collection, link to finding aid: 

 

York University Libraries bots (randomly posts from our DAM which is made up predominantly of scanned photographic negatives of the Toronto Telegram – created by my colleague Nick Ruest) –

YUDL bot (general holdings)

YUDL cat

YUDL dog

 

Home Made Visible – a project of the Regent Park Film Festival:

Genevieve Weber: Decentering the Colonial Narrative in First Nations & Indigenous Community Materials

On the second Monday in October, the US observes a day that is most commonly known as Columbus Day. It has been known to facilitate parades, festivities and celebrations of all kinds.

This day is said to commemorate Christopher Columbus “discovering America.” **AHEM** Discovering did you say? Yeah, I don’t think so. It is scientifically, physically impossible to discover a country that is already COMPLETELY FULL of people living in fully functional societies.
Hey there colonialism, how ya doing?

So in order to work against a landscape that praises Columbus Day and TOWARDS a world that celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day, today is the first of what I hope are a few eps this season with guests who specialize in working with archives/collections or media materials centered in and around Indigenous folx. This episode features the incredible Genevieve Weber and we talk about the amazing things that she is doing up in Canada with First Nations communities. She is a total rockstar. SRSLY, y’all.

Please join me as she and I talk in depth about her work and the commitment that her institution, the BC Archives, has made to try to heal some of the damage that settlers and colonialism in general has done to First Nations folx in Canada.  Bio & links are below the podcast link!

Bio:

Genevieve Weber is an Archivist with the BC Archives, part of the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, Canada. She completed a Master of Archival Studies (MAS) degree at the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a concentration in First Nations recordkeeping and archives. Since then she has worked in a number of Indigenous communities in BC, including the Nisga’a Nation and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations, and at MOA (the Museum of Anthropology at UBC). She has been with the BC Archives for the past two years. Helping community members access their cultural heritage in the archives is one of her favourite parts of her job.

Links:

BC Archives website: https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/bc-archives/about-us/about-bc-archives

Indigenous records at the BC Archives: https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/bc-archives/what-we-have/indigenous-material

The First Nations and Repatriation department of the Royal BC Museum  https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/first-nations/first-nations-repatriation