Indigenous Peoples Day
We declare this to be Indigenous Peoples Day,
even though Mayor De Blasio refuses to do so.
We demand that the AMNH,
which collects revenue from exhibiting indigenous cultures of the world,
starts to pay back by publicly honoring the day,
by acknowledging the Indigenous land it sits upon,
by repatriating human remains and sacred objects,
and by undertaking meaningful and radical steps to decolonize
its exhibits and holdings.
We demand that the AMNH leadership publicly acknowledge the cultural violence perpetrated by the Roosevelt Monument on its steps,
and its own memorial cult of Theodore Roosevelt,
a champion of male chauvinism and white supremacy.
We demand that the AMNH president and board chair convene a public meeting to hear testimony from those who have experienced harm
from their visits to the museum.
We call on our elected representatives in city government to suspend
the annual $17 million subsidy to the AMNH
until the museum has taken substantial steps to meet these above demands.
We call on these representatives to appoint a committee to oversee
a decolonization process at all city museums
that enjoy subsidies through taxpayer support.
We commit to join and actively participate in any efforts on the part of the Decolonize This Place coalition to pursue the above demands.
Rename, Remove, Respect.
Decolonize This City!
Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples Day Assembly at AMNH
Guide to Acknowledgements
10 30 2018
The Guide to Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for
Cultural Institutions is a comprehensive guide for institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, and universities to recognize and respect Indigenous homelands, inherent sovereignty, and survivance.
This guide builds upon the important work that the Lenape Center, American Indian Community House, Rick Chavolla, Emily Johnson, the New Red Order (NRO) and the Native American and Indigenous Student Group (NAISG) at NYU have been doing with regard to land acknowledgments in Lenapehoking.
Felicia Garcia (Chumash), M.A. Museum Studies,
New York University, 2018
Jane Anderson, Museum Studies,
New York University.
We Await Your Response to the Call for a Decolonization Commission
Last week, we issued a letter calling for the Brooklyn Museum to use the public anger surrounding its recent curatorial hiring decision as an opportunity to participate in forming a Decolonization Commission that would address deeply rooted injustices pertaining to the museum.
These would include, among other things, the colonial history of the museum’s non-western holdings, the lack of diversity among its curatorial staff and executive leadership, the fact that the museum’s buildings sit on stolen land, and the museum’s role as an agent of gentrification in Brooklyn, which has been a long-standing grievance of community groups.
On Friday, the Brooklyn Museum issued its first official statement to the publicity crisis penned by director Anne Pasternak. It begins by noting that “we were deeply dismayed when the conversation about this appointment turned to personal attacks on this individual,” and goes on to affirm the leadership’s unequivocal support for the chosen candidate, who is praised for her educational credentials and “anticolonial approach to curating.”
Not coincidentally, in our view, the statement was issued at the same time as the New York Times published an article on the controversy. That article directly bolstered the museum’s position while disregarding not only our call for a Decolonization Commission, but also the support and involvement of many Brooklyn community organizations, including Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN), Equality for Flatbush (E4F), and Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP).