(Video) CAFe Presents: Imagining Decolonial Archival Futures

Maia Johnston - June 5, 2024

Historians discuss new archival practices focused on Indigenous led stewardship

The word "CAFe" in bold black outline.

On May 1, 2024, the Center for Archival Futures (CAFe) hosted public historian and archivist Krista McCracken and historian, author, and research analyst Skylee-Storm Hogan-Stacey. They discussed the implementation of decolonial archival practices, drawing from real world examples and personal experiences highlighted in their recent book, “Decolonial Archival Futures.” 

Decolonial archival practices seek to repair the rampant unevenness of access to information rooted in settler colonialism. McCraken acknowledged that most archives are “part of the colonial system, part of the colonial State.Often archives are recording the lives of Indigenous people’s communities and nations for State-driven purposes, not for reasons that the community or nations want or with given consent.” 

The pair praised the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) for being a guiding framework for their proposed decolonial practices and for providing a language toolkit that explicitly applies to Indigenous communities. Hogan-Stacey expressed how paramount it is for archives to willingly facilitate “Indigenous-led stewardship where communities have control of historical and cultural materials that directly document their heritage.” 

View the full presentation here.