Colloquium at the annual ACFAS, May 2013

On May 7th 2013, the research team organised a colloquium entitled Possession, dépossession et repossession. Le rapatriement du patrimoine autochtone à la croisée des chemins (Possession, dispossession and repossession: repatriation of aboriginal heritage materials at the crossroads) as part of the annual ACFAS Conference at the Université Laval, in Québec City.

 Sally Price gave the keynote presentation. Using the metaphor of the biographies of objects, she discussed the various ways and means of returning objects to their source communities and the implications of doing so. 

Reesa Greenberg outlined milestones in the history of returning objects taken from Jewish families and communities during the Second World War, discussing the notions of individual and collective property, especially as regards to ritual or sacred objects. 

Bibiane Courtois and Anita Tenasco shared their experiences with repatriation, as well as their hopes. 

Élise Dubuc presented various issues surrounding repatriation and the role of museums in this process. Murielle Nagy made links between her research and that of Inuit peoples. 

Finally, doctoral students Claire Nigay, Julie Bibaud and Julian Whittam tackled questions of virtual repatriation, reconstituting heritage, and the phenomenon of immaterial heritage in the context of repatriation. 

Richard Price closed the session by recounting the fight of the Sa’amaka people and discussing the relationship between territory and heritage.

In addition, a day of reflection preceding the colloquium took place at the Hôtel-musée Premières Nations in Wendake.