Coming to One’s Senses

Decolonising Artefacts at the Museum of Anthropology

  • Nicole Anderson University of Edinburgh
Keywords: museology, First Nations, free choice learning, museum display


My paper is concerned with decolonising contemporary museological practice, specifically in relation to ethnographic collections at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. I propose that display practices can be reformed through Indigenous collaboration with artefacts and visitors critically engaging with their display. I recognise that decolonisation must happen on a structural basis with institutions revoking their authority to Indigenous groups. Reclaiming this power grants the autonomy to decide how their collections are displayed and represented. I also explore ways for visitors to decolonise the space introspectively, by becoming critically aware of their own colonial gaze – how they perceive, critique and analyse museum spaces.
How to Cite
Anderson, N. (2019). Coming to One’s Senses. Re:Think - a Journal of Creative Ethnography, 2(1), 59-75. Retrieved from
Academic Essays