All posts by juliec

Jimmy Siméon

Jimmy is ilnu and he grew up in Mashteuiatsh that he then left to cumulate multiple experiences while keeping a close contact with his family, community and territory. For three years, he has been involved with the Sacred Park of Mashteuiatsh, a non-profit organisation devoted to the preservation and the transmission of Piekuakamiulnuatsh knowledge regarding medicinal plants.

He just finished a Certificate in First Nations studies at Université de Montréal, which completes his Bachelor accumulated by Certificates that he started at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi with a Certificate in Geography and another one in Environmental Science. He joined the research project in the end of 2015. He is working on the database and on the Frank Speck Collections held by the NMAI and the Field Museum. Also, he will go twice to Kitigan Zibi to participate to meetings at the Cultural Center.

Jimmy will be back to Université de Montréal in September 2016 to start a master’s degree in Ethnology. He will study the transformation and the reconstruction of the relationship with the traditional territory for an Ilnu family following a rupture of anthropic and intergenerational nature.

Julie Graff

Julie studied at Concordia University and at the École du Louvre, and she received a Bachelor of Art History and a Master of Museology. She is now completing a PhD in Art History at l’Université de Montréal and in Cultural Anthropology at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS). Her research focuses on inuit museology in Nunavik. In the framework of the project, she is conducting a documentary research about Aboriginal museum institutions and Aboriginal museum trainings.

Aanjeni Twenish

aanjeniAanjeni is a young Algonquin filmmaker from the community of Kitigan Zibi. In the summer of 2015, she joined the TSHIUE-NATUAPAHTETAU-KIGIBIWEWIDON project as a research assistant. As part of the team, she works in collaboration with Melissa Morris and Véronique La Perrière M. on Community portraits, a video project produced at Kitigan Zibi and Mashteuiatsh, presenting the human aspect of these communities, all while testifying to their diversity and realities.

Her involvement in the project, however, goes back to August 2013, when she went to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), in Washington, with four other youth from Kitigan Zibi, as part of a student trip. During this visit, she was able to study the objects gathered in her community in the first half of the 20th century.

Aanjeni also participates in Wapikoni Mobile, a travelling studio that roams to Aboriginal communities in order to offer First Nations youth training in audio-visual art making. Workshops allow them to create short films and musical works. Two of Aanjeni’s films are shown on the Wapikoni Mobile website.

To watch Aanjeni’s films:

Study trip to Chicago, from October 19 to 23, 2015

A study trip to Chicago’s Field Museum has taken place in the fall of 2015, for certain members of the project’s team from the Mashteuiatsh community and the Université de Montréal. The delegation visited the museum to explore the possibility of co-curating the renewal of the Montagnais-Naskapi part of the Eastern Woodland Indians exhibition. While there, the team also documented the museum’s collection of objects affiliated with the Ilnu community.

To learn more about the Field Museum, see:

The Dispersed Kanak Heritage Inventory

The Dispersed Kanak Heritage Inventory (IPKD) looks for Kanak objects by way of French and European museums in order to locate them, determine their condition and conservation status and take a look at the museum discourse being made around them. Helped by assistants, Emmanuel Kasarhérou (1) and Roger Boulay (2) take inventory, document, handle, photograph, sketch and digitize found objects. Thirty-five thousand photos have been taken and statistics have been generated concerning the geographic locations of objects, types of museums (3) that collected them, types of objects (4), their source, their acquisition dates, etc. Non-exhaustive, this collected data forms a micro museum whose purpose it is to chart the evolution of objects, in order to release them from a canonical perspective. Once the project is completed, new collaborative resources will need to be maintained between European museums, notably through the Kimuntu (5) platform. Currently the IPKD would like to transfer all information gathered to the museums of New Caledonia and to open a portfolio for all participating museums.

To find out more, see the IPKD team website:


(1) Chief Heritage Curator and head of overseas missions at the quai Branly museum and former director of the Agency for the Development of Kanak Culture (ADCK) – Tjibaou Cultural Centre.

(2) Ethnologist and Oceania specialist.

(3) Ethnographic, encyclopaedic, natural history museums, etc.

(4) Weapons, ceremonial objects, etc.

(5) A virtual directory of French extra-European collections and of professionals associated with the project, Kimuntu is a website bringing together museum, university and professional organizations working in France and studying extra-European civilizations, in the form of summary sheets, classified geographically. This initiative came out of the 2007-2008 quai Branly meetings (Rencontres du quai Branly) and is supported by the Museum of Angoulême and Roger Boulay.

Clémentine Poiret

In 2009, Clémentine Poiret began her studies in art history at the Université de Montréal. Her master’s thesis was written under Élise Dubuc’s supervision. Her main research interests are the exhibition and interpretation of extra-European objects in Western institutional settings. Having recently settled in New Caledonia, she hopes to appease her curiosity and develop her knowledge of Kanak art by becoming involved in one of the local museum institutions.

Withinthe virtual collection of objects from the Ilnu of Mashteuiatsh and the Anishinabeg of Kitigan Zibi, she has noted similarities with another now completed project about Kanak objects. The Inventory of Dispersed Kanak Heritage (Inventaire du Patrimoine Kanak Dispersé (IPKD)), an essential factor in her research, is presented in Clémentine’s thesis.

Thesis summary

The interpretation of immaterial cultural heritage at the quai Branly museum. The (re)discovery of the “other” in the “Kanak. L’art est une parole” (“Kanak. Art is speech”) exhibit.

The objective of Clémentine’s thesis is to gaze critically at the exhibit on Kanak immaterial cultural heritage, recently presented at the quai Branly museum. Its objective being to correct the elitism of Eurocentrism, postcolonialism is a school of thought, which aims to reposition marginalized agents and stakes.

Interdisciplinary, postcolonial discourse prompts a pluridisciplinarity of perspectives in order to include the voices of “others.” In her study, Clémentine chose to address the proposition in a particular setting. Her approach centres on the quai Branly museum’s interpretation of the “other,” in order to understand how the particularity of Kanak heritage is presented today. This thesis proposes to reflect on the quai Branly museum’s approach concerning some recurring problems related to the perception and treatment of non Western objects, a reflection that seems necessary in order to establish a review of exhibition practices around immaterial cultural heritage in the « Kanak. L’art est une parole » exhibit. In order to do this, raised stakes are addressed through art historical, anthropological and museological perspectives.

Through the museography it sets up, the museum shares its bias with the public with regard to the didactic discourse it transmits. The choices made regarding the exhibit and its contextualization demonstrate how the museum defines the objects it contains. The quai Branly museum is a specific case. Promoted as a “tribal art” museum at its opening, it exhibits ethnographic objects from Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Asia for their aesthetic qualities. Clémentine maintains that far from our Western precepts, the museum’s challenge is to chart the history of these objects. For example, Kanak artistic expression raises the root of the problem, insofar as it takes shape through oral resources.

Alexandra Martin

martin_a Alexandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Museology from the Université de Montréal. Interested in community museums and “first voice” museums, she undertook an internship at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco during her Master’s degree. Under Élise Dubuc’s direction, she led a project on African American museums and examined the notion of cultural auto representation in museum institutions. In 2012, she started a PhD in sociology at the Université de Montréal under Sirma Bilge’s supervision. Her project is concerned with military simulations. More specifically, she’s interested in the construction of false Afghani and Iraqi villages on American military bases. She is addressing dominant discourses on the representation of the enemy in the context of the “war on terror.” Questions of representation are thereby a major component of her research. In parallel, she founded the Karatini Theatre company, a research-creation centre seeking interplay between art and social research. Alexandra joined the TSHIUE-NATUAPAHTETAU-KIGIBIWEWIDON project because she remains interested in relationships between museums and First Nations, in Aboriginal museology as well as in repatriation issues.

Marinés Mejia Nuñez

mejia_nunez_mMarinés studied communication sciences in Mexico, her country of origin. She arrived in Montreal in 2005 in order to complete a Master’s degree in Museology at the Université de Montréal. During her graduate studies, she developed expertise in the field of community museums in Mexico.

She has primarily accumulated professional experience in social communication, culture, art and in human rights, especially concerning gender equality. Marinés has worked for private companies as well as independently for several years in Montreal, in Mexico and in Peru. She has participated in several social and solidarity movements. In addition, she has gotten involved with non-governmental organizations to work on the valorisation of identity as well as the improvement of living conditions for disadvantaged, immigrant or Aboriginal communities in Mexico and Peru.

Community portraits project

Community portraits is a video project, depicting the communities of Mashteuiatsh and Kitigan Zibi through portraits of people and places. These portraits highlight the human aspect of the communities while testifying to their diversity and realities, beyond numbers and quantitative data.

The project started in the community of Mashteuiatsh. Bibiane Courtois, Repatriation Coordinator, Tommy Paré, PASS (Educational and social support project) Program Coordinator and three youths involved in this program interviewed three people chosen by the latter: a grandmother, a Nehlueun teacher and a musician-guide. The interviews were carried out in places important to these people, for example in their home or at the community site. The interviews bring up, among other things, attachment to territory, the importance of family, the role of the individual in the community, as well as different generational points of view. In short, meeting the people and territory allows for a livelier and more personal presentation of the community.

The project is taking place in Mashteuiatsh and will then be undertaken in Kitigan Zibi.