[Print edition page number: 41]
“Touching each book”: Demystifying Special Collections in Community
“When touching each book, it is as if the words were imprinted in each finger and begged to be pronounced so as not to be forgotten. It is really a meeting between words and emotions.”
— Victorino Torres Nava
(Nahua Community, Cuentepec, Morelos, Mexico)
First, I would like to express gratitude and love to my kin, and all the Native American, Indigenous, Pueblos Originarios, and First Nation communities, past, present, and future. Wherever you travel across the Americas, you are on Indigenous land. This land is and will always be Indigenous Land.
A Note on Terminology
It’s important to acknowledge the diversity of Indigenous Peoples’ cultures, traditions, and languages throughout the Western Hemisphere. When teaching about a particular tribe or nation, learning and using accurate terms specific to the community can prevent stereotypes and encourage cultural understanding and sensitivity. Throughout this essay, I use the words “Indigenous” and “Native” to be inclusive of all peoples who are the original inhabitants of the land. These words encompass more specific terms like “American Indian,” “First Nations,” “Naciones Originarias (Original Nations),” and others that refer to Indigenous peoples in specific regions.
I have been a longtime admirer of libraries, museums, and cultural institutions worldwide but particularly in Chicago. As a child, I was fortunate to have aunts instilling their love of libraries and museums in me and my siblings. I have many fond memories exploring places such as the Field Museum and the Chicago Public Library with my aunts. My family and I are part of the Indigenous diaspora here in Chicago; we are Chichimeca (specifically Guachichil/Xi’úi) from El Aguaje de Garcia, San Luis Potosi, Mexico but we have been here in Chicago since the 1950s.
I was a precocious child, which often got me into trouble because I constantly asked questions. I often wondered why Indigenous culture, history, and languages were not taught in school. Now as an adult I have developed the language to describe why: white supremacy, indoctrination, assimilation, imperialism, racism, just to name a few. Public schools rarely, if at all, teach Indigenous culture, histories, language, literature and if they do, they are extremely biased. In
the city of Chicago alone, there is no curriculum yet within the Chicago Public Schools focusing on Native American or Indigenous experiences. I am a graduate of the Chicago Public School system and I was born, raised, and still reside on the Southwest side of Chicago in the historic neighborhood of La Villita (Little Village). Our community has a strong history of action and coalition building to address the continued oppression our community and other BIPOC communities face in the areas of education, employment, healthcare, gentrification, and environmental racism.
An important historical example related to coalition building in Little Village involves the now defunct Harrison Technical high school. The same high school my mom and aunts also attended at the time. On September 16, 1968, 1,000 of the 3,000 students enrolled at this high school — the only high school at the time serving South Lawndale and Pilsen — protested the absence of African American history courses and the unfavorable conditions throughout the overcrowded school, including ongoing underfunding and a lack of bilingual teachers. While the initial protest was unsuccessful, a month later, 2,500 students participated in a second walkout in which African American students were joined by their Latinx/e counterparts. Inspired by the African American student advocacy group New Breed, Latinx/e students created their own manifesto of grievances, which included a protest against the lack of diversity in the curriculum and teaching staff for both communities. You can see a copy of this manifesto along with other ephemeral materials related to this action in an artist book created by Jose Resendiz in 2016, at the Newberry. Although these efforts brought attention to educational and racial disparities in our neighborhoods, our schools are still lacking in resources and relevant curriculums.
The of Little Village are 60% Latinx/e, 34% Black non-Latinx, 6% White non-Latinx and of the Latinx/e population a majority of which are foreign born. However, within these demographics, Indigenous identity as it pertains to Indigenous people in Latin America is erased. This is mostly a result of immigrants being classified as “Latinx” even if they are members of a particular Indigenous community in Mexico. This is the first stage in the colonial project to assimilate Indigenous people: it strips you of your identity. The next stage of assimilation is to separate you from your language. The curriculum will be offered in either English or Spanish after a student is enrolled in a public school. When we enroll in the public education system, we are then taught a history that is either biased or unrelated to our experiences. As my friend and Nahua scholar Victorino Torres Nava once wrote:
In elementary school they forced me to memorize the names of the rivers and capitals of Europe and they forced me to forget the names of the rivers and the names of my town. Something like that happens with our languages. That if you no longer speak any language other than Spanish or another of the whites, it is not because you have entered the category of , but because your grandparents were forced to forget their language and their history, they were named mestizo.
Having attended public schools in Chicago and Texas, I can speak from personal experience regarding the lack of curricula related to Indigenous experiences within most public schools. The opportunity to facilitate and elevate topics and conversations related to Indigenous histories, culture, and language is what I value most about working at the Newberry. The opportunity to host community members worldwide and teach in a Special Collections classroom at an independent research library like the Newberry is unique. In many respects, the numerous, ongoing partnerships aimed at facilitating Native and Indigenous people’s access to the Newberry’s collection of materials have helped to reunite and reclaim the histories that have been over time separated from these communities.
Indigenous Studies Collection at the Newberry
When Edward E. Ayer donated his library to the Newberry in 1911, he also stipulated his library always have a librarian or curator stewarding the Indigenous Studies collection. The first two Ayer librarians at the Newberry were white women: Clara Smith, who was also Ayer’s niece, and Ruth Lapham Butler. White men and a white woman thereafter took their places. Before the 1970s at the earliest, it can be presumed that the majority of users and possibly staff using the American Indian and Indigenous studies collection would be white (or, at least, non-Native). The founding of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies in 1972 helped shift and improve this way of thinking at the library. Indeed, the McNickle Center was intended to facilitate important topics related to stimulating research and improving scholarship in American Indian and Indigenous studies broadly, but it was built with the Indigenous community — teachers, scholars, and researchers — in mind. It was specifically founded to help facilitate their work, and to provide a meeting ground for Indigenous people interested in their own histories.
As an Indigenous Librarian working at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), negotiating my relationship with the Newberry feels different from my everyday life and lived experience as a community member accountable to an inter-tribal Indigenous community here in Chicago and in Latin America. My work does not exist in a vacuum; it is not simply for the institution; it is also for the numerous communities that I come from, with which I work, and with which I stand in solidarity. I am accountable to these communities, above all. It can be a challenge for colleagues not living in the community and not from the community to fully understand this fact. While I have many interests, my passion lies in intentional community collaborations to build points of access to materials within the Newberry Library. An example I provide below is working in collaboration with Nahua community members in Cuentepec, Morelos, Mexico to obtain a copy of a historical sixteenth century map of Tenochtitlan. In addition, I have a strong commitment to the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. Despite the challenges, I have committed to this work both within and outside of the library.
As the Indigenous Studies Librarian and Assistant Curator, I help steward the Indigenous studies collection while guiding library users through, connecting them with, and interpreting materials linked to the Indigenous Studies collection. Any time someone has a question about materials within the vast collection, I help them navigate it and connect them with resources for their research. I also lead many in-person instructional sessions and tours to visiting classes and groups. These range from high school and undergraduate students to Newberry-associated consortium groups, community groups, tribal representatives, and families; the list is very long. Aside from my main responsibilities, I am involved in multiple interdepartmental committees related to external and internal initiatives for providing access to materials to various Indigenous communities. For the past two years I have also co-chaired the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives at the library. My Instruction practice is informed not only by my lived experience but by international initiatives working towards uplifting historically underrepresented Indigenous communities and their knowledge systems, which have often been dismissed within the libraries and archives fields. Researching collection objects in-depth with relation to provenance and item history is a part of my practice as a librarian. Since the Indigenous studies collection is quite vast, many community members are unaware of the existence of specific materials or related supplementary resources, so part of this work includes reconnecting the community to that knowledge and history. For example, at the moment I am working with my home community in San Luis Potosi, Mexico to gather resources related to the Guachichil language and history.
My career as a librarian started back in 2010 while working for a research library in Chicago. The position I held at this library was a Digital Imaging Assistant and exposed me to many historical documents. In this role, I encountered many documents I had never known to exist, like a full run of Mexican newspapers. I wondered if research topics and assignments in high school would have changed had I known an institution like this existed. Would I have written about these newspapers? After working at this research library for many years I went to work for a contemporary art museum in Chicago. Working for that museum was traumatizing. During my time there I came to understand their blatant disregard for the communities that they and many museums profit from through the use of stolen labor and exploited narratives. Shortly after my time abruptly ended here, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Library and Information Science in 2014. Over the years, I kept looking for job openings at the Newberry and finally after thirteen years and thirty-five job applications sent to various cultural institutions in Chicago, the Indigenous Studies Librarian position opened at the Newberry and I applied. This was also shortly after graduating from Dominican University with a Master’s in Library and Information Science and a certificate in Archives and Cultural Heritage Resources and Services.
In 2016, I contributed an article titled “#ArchivesSOWhite: Preparing for the Field,” to an online arts publication called Sixty Inches from Center. This piece focused on diversity (or the lack thereof) within the library and archives fields. Six years after writing this article, I now work as the Indigenous Studies Librarian and Assistant Curator of American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library, an independent research library focused in the Humanities but also a P.W.I. Statistically, the most common ethnicity of librarians (and only counting credentialed librarians), that is, those with a Master’s degree accredited by the American Library Association is: White 89%, Black or African American 5%, Hispanic or Latinx 2%, Native American/Alaskan <1%, Asian/Pacific Islander 3% and two or more 1%. If you consult the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics annual report from 2010 for more current information, it is likely to remain the same. It’s an overwhelmingly white profession. As librarian Jessamyn Charity West wrote “When confronting the problem of Whiteness in libraries it’s good to remember that this isn’t just a random thing that happened, but a problem that was built on top of structural racism within the United States. People in librarianship then made choices to make these situations better, or worse, within living memory.” I think about this often within the profession and how this connects to broader discussions about U.S. policies aimed towards separating Indigenous peoples from their history, land, culture, and language. These very policies are historically rooted in imperialism and capitalism. For example, how was someone like Edward E. Ayer, a wealthy, white, collector and donor of the Indigenous Studies collection at the Newberry, able to obtain materials from the Philippines at the end of the nineteenth century when he first learned that the United States had “acquired” the islands from Spain under the terms of the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War? How is this connected more broadly to white supremacy and the collections the Newberry has?
In addition to considering the importance of Indigenous languages and the reasons why the Newberry’s collection of related materials is crucial for reestablishing ties with the people from which they originate, I also consider the current situation of Indigenous languages. Indigenous languages comprise about 4,000 of the roughly 6,500 to 7,000 languages spoken today. However, the majority of the languages under threat are Indigenous languages. It is estimated that one Indigenous language dies every two weeks. Fluent native speakers of Indigenous languages are becoming less and less common, which is directly due to genocidal, historical (and present), assimilationist, and educational policies that violate the rights of various minority linguistic populations. Although Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalise, use, develop and transmit to future generations their languages, oral traditions, writing systems and literatures,” public policies continue to lack support for communities to fund, implement, and sustain the learning and use of Indigenous languages. Why is this important? Capitalism (and non-Native languages) is the primary language of the majority of the world’s largest polluters. More than 96% of the world’s Indigenous languages are currently in danger of extinction or are under threat. It is no coincidence that as speakers of historically marginalised languages pass away, the rest of the world grieves as well, grieving over the loss and threat of the languages (and communities) that have protected the world’s most priceless treasures — the earth and the water.
Decolonizing the Archive?
We hear the term “decolonize” quite a bit these days but what does it mean within libraries and archives? Within a colonial construct many often argue it is impossible to “decolonize” an Institution because they perpetuate colonial ideals. Historically libraries and archives have cataloged Indigenous materials in Western ways oftentimes disregarding Indigenous knowledge. As part of a grant-funded initiative at the Newberry, my colleagues and I are currently challenging this framework by updating our internal library practices and protocols as they relate to cataloging and archival standards to make them inclusive of Indigenous knowledge systems. For example, one collaborative project that includes Indigenous community members and staff, includes updating online catalog records, digital resources to address racial slurs, problematic subject headings and discussing options for implementing Traditional Knowledge (TK) labels into catalog records. Traditional Knowledge Labels identify and clarify community-specific rules and responsibilities regarding access and future use of traditional knowledge held within non-Tribal institutions.
Although many archives, libraries, museums, cultural institutions, and the academy as a whole have diversified over the years, this does not mean they have “decolonized.” Indigenous people need to have control over their own knowledge, histories, stories, and resources because no matter how experienced a non-Native person thinks they are, they cannot and will not have the lived experience. To me, decolonizing means enough with capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism. We must respect the self-determination and sovereignty of Indigenous communities worldwide. As Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang wrote in their essay “Decolonization is not a Metaphor”:
Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools. The easy adoption of decolonizing discourse by educational advocacy and scholarship, evidenced by the increasing number of calls to “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or, “decolonize student thinking”, turns decolonization into a metaphor.
Hiring Native people and tossing in land acknowledgements alone is not decolonization either. To me, representation alone will not solve the centuries of structural racism, violence, indoctrination, assimilation policies, and continued imperialism Indigenous people are still subjected to. Representation and individuals being involved in processes that historically were created without Indigenous people involved is the minimum starting point. And because Tuck and Yang wrote it best:
“When metaphor invades decolonization, it kills the very possibility of decolonization; it recenters whiteness, it resettles theory, it extends innocence to the settler, it entertains a settler future . . . The metaphorization of decolonization makes possible a set of evasions, or “settler moves to innocence”, that problematically attempt to reconcile settler guilt and complicity, and rescue settler futurity.”
In other words, non-tribal institutions stewarding Indigenous collections must do more than simply display gestures of solidarity. Efforts to ‘decolonize’ institutions are embodied in ritual acts of acknowledging Indigenous presence and claims to territory. We are seeing these acts worldwide. However, these acknowledgements are increasingly — if only recently — understood as prerequisites for demonstrating engagement with Indigenous communities. Performative acts rarely if ever lead to sustainable change within institutions, a continuous commitment to serve as accomplices to Indigenous people is what is necessary. For example, we need to work on prioritizing Indigenous voices (e.g. collecting and purchasing Native-created works), creating opportunities for the hiring of Native people within public facing positions, and supporting and investing in Native-led projects.
Additionally, I have a strong interest in tribal critical theory (TribalCrit). TribalCrit is an offshoot of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and is based on the various, complex, historically and geographically situated epistemologies and ontologies that are present in Indigenous communities all over the world. As Jones Brayboy and Bryan McKinley point out: “The primary tenet of TribalCrit is the notion that colonization is endemic to society. By colonization, I mean that European American thought, knowledge, and power structures dominate present-day society in the United States.” And this is the same within the academy and libraries, where these perspectives are prioritized over Indigenous community members or scholars we have been taught to believe “authorities” on particular subjects. For example, during my first years as the Indigenous Studies librarian, I was giving a tour to a community member and they asked me “Why is this white scholar seen as an authority on this topic or community?” The scholar was Charles Dibble and the topic related to translations done in English from Nahuatl. Although Dibble has contributed greatly to the field of Mesoamerican studies and Linguistics, why is he considered an authority in relation to anything Nahua? Why are Indigenous scholars or Indigenous language speakers often studied but rarely given authority within scholarship or the archive?
Indigenous Scholars from the Community
I am passionate about working towards building sustainable relationships with communities and community members where materials originate from. For example, it has been very important to me to learn two Indigenous languages once spoken by family members, not only to do the work in the library, but also to understand my belonging within the community. Through a commitment to learning two languages I am able to get closer to living communities and build reciprocal relationships working against the exploitative and extractive practices museums, libraries, and archives have used to fill their collections. At the library I also work towards demystifying special collections within colonial spaces like the Newberry because these institutions can be intimidating for some community members. And although institutions such as ours are “open to the public” I always ask:
▸ What mechanisms are in place that will ensure welcoming atmospheres for community members visiting the library and working with the materials?
▸ Do communities know what is held within our institutions? And if so, what are we doing to connect them with these resources?
▸ How are we stewarding these collections? Do we consider specific Indigenous protocols for culturally sensitive materials?
Over the years I have had the honor of welcoming a variety of individuals into the library, from Newberry Consortium groups, community groups and tribal representatives to high school students and families. At times, these interactions open up potential collaborative projects with hidden stories about a particular item within the collection. One example of such a collaborative project included me writing an article with a Nahua scholar. Back in 2019 Victorino Torres Nava and I focused on an eighteenth-century Nahuatl play in the Newberry collection. When this item arrived at the library in 2018, the dealer description stated that the play chronicles the story of a grandmother who leaves her grandson to watch over their turkeys while also telling him to keep an eye on a jar filled with a mysterious liquid, possibly honey. She tells her grandson not to drink the liquid and warns him that, if he does, he will become sick.
The description provided by the auction house translated the word “necuitetzahuac” to mean just honey. Upon further investigation of this term within the manuscript in collaboration with a Nahuatl speaker we came to find that the term used for “honey,” necuitetzahuac, was in fact “aguamiel” (honey water in English) or the sap from the maguey plant which when fermented becomes the alcoholic drink pulque. After the grandmother leaves, her grandson gets very hungry and drinks the necuitetzahuac, becoming drunk. He then believes that he has been transformed into a coyote and begins to howl. When she returns, the grandmother scolds him, and the play concludes with them dancing as they exit. We also transcribed and translated the article into a modern variant of Nahuatl along with English and Spanish versions. The Nahuatl transcription was done by another Nahua scholar, Abelardo de la Cruz. For the published article, we made sure to prioritize the Nahuatl language as well. These and other instances demonstrate how crucial it is to consult and collaborate with Indigenous communities, especially when they speak an Indigenous language as their mother tongue. Similarly, it is crucial to provide community members with leadership opportunities within institutional initiatives.
One of my more recent collaborative project was a blog post titled “The Codex Zempoala: Asserting Indigenous Rights,” written last year which is available in English, Spanish, and a Nahuatl translation done by Victorino. Recently, the Newberry donated a facsimile copy of the 1524 map of Tenochtitlan (or so-called Mexico City) to Victorino’s community in Cuentepec. (Figure 1) It’s important to build these reciprocal relationships, especially within communities that have historically been underrepresented on a social, political, and educational level. Indigenous communities in Latin America, like many other Native communities across the globe, still experience state violence at the hands of its colonial government. Although Mexico has public schools for Indigenous people, the curriculum is mostly in Spanish. The public schools rarely, if at all, teach subjects in an Indigenous language even though Mexico has an extraordinary linguistic diversity of seven million speakers of an Indigenous language. It is one of the countries with the most Indigenous languages! A total of sixty-eight native languages are spoken, divided into more than three hundred and fifty linguistic variants.
The Newberry has accomplished and continues to accomplish some admirable reconciliation and reckoning with its very own past as an institution tied to actions of Indigenous knowledge being separated from origin communities, especially within Indigenous communities in Latin-America. As Elizabeth Joffrion and Natalia Fernández wrote:
When relationships are built on a foundation of trust and mutual respect, the resulting collaborative efforts can create beneficial alliances that produce new understandings of Indigenous cultural history and more sensitive approaches to the stewardship of Native heritage by non-Native cultural institutions.”
All these efforts may mark a very small step toward reconciliation between institutions rooted in colonial history and Indigenous communities.
But the work never ends.
- Original text was in Spanish: “Al tocar cada libro, es como si las palabras se impregnaran en cada dedo y suplicaran pronunciarse para no olvidarnos de ellas. Es realmente un encuentro entre las palabras y las emociones.” A dear friend, colleague, and Nahua scholar shared this with me after his first visit to the Newberry Library in 2019. In our respective Indigenous communities, we see these collections as our relatives. ↵
- Since January 2022, House bill Native American Curriculum, HB4548 has been going through the legislature here in Chicago requiring the State Board of Education to develop a curriculum relating to the Native American experience for students in kindergarten through grade 12. It also requires the implementation of the Native American curriculum starting in the 2023–2024 school year. ↵
- To read more about this historical action, see Digital Chicago, “Harrison High Protests of 1968: Demanding Better Education,” by Hannah Bradford and Anna Hevrdejs, https://digitalchicagohistory.org/exhibits/show/harrison-high-protests-1968/home. ↵
- Latinx/e is defined as a person of Latin American origin or descent. The “x” in Latinx is a gender-neutral term for a person of Latin American descent but breaks the linguistic structure of the word in Spanish in an attempt to un-gender the term Latino, yet it still pays deference to a Eurocentric ideology that actively denies the Indigenous and African heritage of the people it claims to represent. ↵
- Tanner Howard, “Fifty years ago, 35,000 Chicago students walked out of their classrooms in protest. They changed CPS forever,” Chicago Reader, October 4, 2018, https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/student-protests-1968-chicago-public-schools/Content?oid=59097994 ↵
- https://i-share-nby.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01CARLI_NBY/i5mcb2/alma999615258805867 ↵
- University of Chicago website: https://harris.uchicago.edu/files/little_village.pdf. ↵
- The original correspondence was in Spanish: “En la primaria me obligaron a memorizar los nombres de los ríos y capitales de Europa y me obligaron a olvidar los nombres de los ríos y nombres de mi pueblo. Algo así pasa con nuestras lenguas. Que si ya no hablas ninguna lengua más que el español u otra de los blancos; no es porque hayas entrado en la categoría de mestizo, sino porque a tus abuelos los obligaron a olvidar su lengua y su historia y lo nombraron mestizo.” Facebook message, March 12, 2021. ↵
- My official title is “Ayer Librarian,” which honors Edward E. Ayer, the collection’s donor and a former Newberry Trustee. This fact alone is problematic, especially in light of what First Nations Librarian Jessie Loyer called “a singular, white man’s joy,” in that most collections in libraries, archives, and museums were created by them [white men]. Additionally, the majority of these collections bear the names of these same white men. “Collections Are Our Relatives: Disrupting the Singular, White Man’s Joy That Shaped Collections,” in Megan Browndorf, Erin Pappas, and Anna Arays, eds., The Collector and the Collected: Decolonizing Area Studies Librarianship (Library Juice Press, 2021), 3–19. https://mru.arcabc.ca/islandora/object/mru:793. ↵
- The American Library Association’s 2000 Census estimates data. See Denise M. Davis and Tracie D. Hall, Diversity Counts, (ALA: Office for Research and Statistics, Office for Diversity, 2007), https://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/diversity/diversitycounts/diversitycounts_rev0.pdf ↵
- Jessamyn Charity West, “Segregation in Library Associations” in Violet B. Fox, Disorientation Guide to Librarianship, http://violetbfox.info/disorientation-guide-to-librarianship/. Find more information and formatted/printable versions of the zine at the main page: violetbfox.info/disorientation. ↵
- Edward E. Ayer was also part of the Newberry’s Board of Trustees. ↵
- https://www.ohchr.org/en/indigenous-peoples/un-declaration-rights-indigenous-peoples ↵
- According to data referenced in Australia’s recently issued 2021 State of the Environment report, Indigenous peoples are safeguarding 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity even though they make up just 5% of the world’s population ↵
- The Indigenization Project, University of British Columbia, see Ian Cull; Robert L. A. Hancock, Stephanie McKeown, Michelle Pidgeon, and Adrienne Vedan, “Decolonization and Indigenization,” in Pulling Together: A Guide for Front-Line Staff, Student Services, and Advisors, (Victoria, BC: BCcampus, 2018), https://opentextbc.ca/indigenization. ↵
- Read more about this grant project: https://www.newberry.org/news/newberry-library-will-collaborate-with-native-communities-to-expand-access-to-indigenous-studies-collection ↵
- More information about TK Labels is available at https://localcontexts.org/labels/traditional-knowledge-labels. ↵
- Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, no. 1 (2012), 1, https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/18630. ↵
- Tuck and Yang, 1–3, . ↵
- I would also extend this to any institution stewarding Black, Indigenous, Queer, and POC collections. ↵
- The Red New Order artist collective. ↵
- Jones Brayboy and Bryan McKinley, “Toward a Tribal Critical Race Theory in Education,” The Urban Review 37, no. 5 (2005): 425–446, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-005-0018-y. ↵
- Bradboy and McKinley, 430. ↵
- For the community of Cuentepec, Morelos, is the last community in the entire state of Morelos that retains its Indigenous language of Nahuatl as their first language. ↵
- The recent exhibition, ¡Viva la Libertad!, curated by my colleague Will Hansen, included this statement of provenance: “The books, maps, and manuscripts in this exhibition were acquired by the Newberry Library over our 130-year history. Edward E. Ayer, a trustee of the library, donated many of these items to the Newberry in 1911. Some were given to the Newberry by other collectors, and some were purchased as recently as last year. The Newberry acquired these materials in good faith from what were believed to be their proper owners. Yet we also acknowledge the long history of removal of cultural heritage from Latin America, and particularly from Indigenous peoples, to colonizing nations and institutions. Such removals sometimes occurred through pillage, theft, coercion, exploitative purchase, and other inappropriate means. We recognize this historical context and seek to build reciprocal relationships with the communities from which these items and the knowledge that they carry came.” ↵
- Joffrion, Elizabeth and Fernández, Natalia, “Collaboration between Tribal and Non-Tribal Organizations: Sharing Expertise, Knowledge, and Cultural Resources” (2015). Western Libraries Faculty and Staff Publications. https://cedar.wwu.edu/library_facpubs/32 ↵
quantifiable composition of a human population
person of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry
exact copy of something