From Kara Annett and Natasha Fares
On March 11th Kara Annett and Natasha Fares, two of GRASAC’s research assistants, presented at the University of Toronto’s iConference. It was the first time the conference had been in person since the pandemic, and this year’s theme was information activism. This gave them the perfect opportunity to talk about the work GRASAC has been doing, explain the GKS, show some of the ancestors in our system, and how we use kinship practices within our collections.
Using items from the GKS and the Birdstones from the virtual tour with the Royal Ontario Museum, Kara and Natasha demonstrated how we’ve been using reparative descriptions to help ancestors find their way back to their communities as well as discussed the strengths of using this strategy within archives and museum collections.
In addition to presenting, Kara and Natasha also took part in a Q and A with other panelists and talked about the importance of admitting that we don’t know everything and how it can lead to opportunities for collaboration and education. Returning agency to ancestors and helping them find their way back home by making them more accessible to their communities through using their language and providing descriptions that make it easier to search is an important practice that other institutions can learn from.