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Feb 13, 2018

Venue info

College of the Atlantic McCormick Lecture Hall

College of the Atlantic McCormick Lecture Hall, 105 Eden St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609



Undoing Colonial Practices in Museums

The Abbe Museum, operating from two locations in Bar Harbor, has the mission to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit. In August 2015, the museum completed its most ambitious strategic plan to date, committing to develop and implement decolonizing practices in a museum setting.

During her talk, Catlin-Legutko will discuss that nature of decolonizing museum practice and how it offers opportunities for Wabanaki people to feel connected to the Abbe, promote cultural authority, and encourage collaboration and involvement with and between tribal community members and the museum field. Additionally she will discuss the role of the leader in a decolonizing framework, which requires power-sharing skills and a commitment to developing group and person cultural competencies.

The Abbe Museum is described by its museum peers as the first nontribal museum to adopt an organizational mandate to decolonize. It is the museum’s hope and intention that this significant work ultimately leads to healing and reconciliation for Native people and museum spaces.
Working in museums for more than twenty years, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko believes they have the power to change lives, inspire movements, and challenge authority.

A museum director since 2001, she is a frequent presenter at national museum meetings and is often asked to comment on national museum issues. As the President/CEO of the Abbe Museum, she has been the driving force behind the Museum’s decolonization initiative, working with the Native communities in Maine to develop policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and cooperation with Wabanaki people. Because of this work, the Abbe is a leading resource and model that the museum field turns to for ideas, solutions, and strategies for comprehensive museum decolonization.

The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.