Northwest Coast Collection: Building Bridges and Detailed Conservation SurveyIn 2020, DMNS was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library services (IMLS) grant (MA-245839-OMS-20) to fund this two-year project, which focuses on several hundred items from the culture groups: Makah, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, Haida, and Tlingit. These communities are traditional inhabitants of present-day Washington State north through coastal British Columbia (Canada) and southern Alaska.
The goal of the condition survey is to advance stewardship and public access for items in the Northwest Coast Collection through a collaborative process with the communities. This means that items come into Avenir Conservation Center so we can study and document their materials, techniques, and conditions. Evidence of deterioration, damage and instability is noted and steps for future treatment and preventive conservation are proposed.
A major part of the project is collaboration with the Indigenous communities from which the items come. This collaboration is key to better understanding the collection items, promoting access, and planning for long-term care of these items in culturally appropriate ways.