Always Coming Home

Territories of Relation and Reparative Archives

  • Kim Christen
  • Josiah Blackeagle Pinkham (Nez Perce/Nimíipuu)
  • Cordelia Hooee (Zuni)
  • Amelia Wilson (Tlingit)


This article contributes to person-centred archival praxis and methodology by providing a reparative theoretical framework based in Indigenous relationships to kin, territories, material belongings, and systems of knowledge to unsettle standard archival practices. By foregrounding the stories of Indigenous archivists and practitioners, through their own narratives, we build on Indigenous theory as story work to interrogate archival systems, workflows, and policies that continue to replay settler-colonial tactics of removal and epistemic violence. In order to restructure archival practices, we suggest that institutions need to build relationship infrastructures that allow for respectful archival listening, shared stewardship, and return practices that go beyond mere exchange. Instead, to centre Indigenous knowledge systems and practices, archival practices must not only acknowledge territorial, intellectual, and cultural sovereignty but must also enact mechanisms for their realization.

Author Biographies

Kim Christen

Kim Christen is the Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University, where she is a professor in and the Director of the Digital Technology and Culture program. Her work explores the intersections of cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, information ethics, and the use of digital technologies in and by Indigenous communities globally. She is the founder of Mukurtu CMS, an open-source community access platform designed to meet the information, curatorial, and data needs of Indigenous communities. She is also the Director of the Sustainable Heritage Network and co-director of the Local Contexts initiative, platforms that provide practical tools and educational resources for the stewardship of digital cultural heritage and the management of intellectual property by Indigenous communities.

Josiah Blackeagle Pinkham (Nez Perce/Nimíipuu)

Josiah Blackeagle Pinkham is Nez Perce and resides on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. His Nez Perce name, Tipyelehne Cimuuxcimux, is commonly translated as Blackeagle. Josiah’s father, Allen Pinkham Sr., is a Nez Perce man, and Josiah’s mother, Shirley Mosqueda, is a Yakama woman. Josiah is an ethnographer in the Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resource Program, which involves cultural research and documentation. He graduated with honours from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, with a degree in Native American studies and psychology. Josiah travels all over the United States to give presentations on the culture of the Nez Perce and has taken several trips to Europe for cultural exchanges. He presents to groups of all ages and backgrounds. The groups include young children; college students; and people in tour groups, elder hostel programs, museums, and interpretive centres. He also presents to a variety of agencies to help them understand the importance of tribal collaboration.

Cordelia Hooee (Zuni)

Cordelia Hooee is an enrolled member of the Zuni Tribe. She serves as the Cultural Resources Manager and Archivist for the Pueblo of Zuni Cultural Resources Center (Zuni Tribal Archives, Zuni Public Library, A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center and Census Program). Cordelia has more than 30 years of experience working in libraries and archives. Her professional interests lie in the protection of intellectual and cultural property rights of Native/Indigenous Peoples. She received her MLIS from the University of Arizona School of Information (Knowledge River Scholar, cohort 13) and is currently enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Cultural Administration program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Amelia Wilson (Tlingit)

Amelia Wilson is of Tlingit and Irish descent from the village of Hoonah, Alaska, and a member of the Chookaneidí Brown Bear clan. She serves as Executive Director for Huna Heritage Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of Huna Totem Corporation established to foster and support educational and cultural opportunities for current and future generations. Amelia is responsible for the oversight and administration of the Huna Heritage Library and Archives, scholarship program, and Our Way of Life community programming. Prior to her current position, she served as the Archivist for Huna Heritage Foundation and was instrumental in the development of the Huna Heritage Digital Archives, an online Mukurtu CMS web portal hosting audio and visual content of cultural and historic value to Hoonah. In 2019, Huna Heritage Foundation won the international Guardian of Culture and Lifeways Archives Institutional Excellence Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. Amelia is a motivated service-to-community-oriented professional who enjoys volunteering locally as a city council member, President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12, and member of the Tlingit dance group, the Gaawx Xaayi Dancers. Amelia provides consultation, gives lectures and presentations, and teaches classes on numerous topics of cultural, historical, and contemporary value in local, regional, and international venues. She is personally and professionally committed to the ongoing development of her cultural knowledge and is honoured to share it with others.

How to Cite
Christen, Kim, Josiah Blackeagle Pinkham, Cordelia Hooee, and Amelia Wilson. 2022. “Always Coming Home: Territories of Relation and Reparative Archives”. Archivaria 94 (December), 24-62.