Museums Alaska & Alaska Historical Society
2019 JOINT CONFERENCE
Kodiak, Alaska | September 25-28, 2019
Welcome to the registration website for the 2019 conference of Museums Alaska and the Alaska Historical Society! This year the conference will be held in Kodiak, AK, hosted by the Kodiak Historical Society with partners from the Kodiak community. The conference will take place at the Best Western Kodiak Inn and Convention Center. This is a wonderful opportunity to see Kodiak and Kodiak Island and to share and connect with fellow Alaskans and professionals.
MA Theme: Critical Conversations: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
The museum field is currently engaging in critical conversations regarding how our institutions can evolve to become more equitable, inclusive, diverse, and accessible. Topics of these conversations include (but are certainly not limited to): how to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve at the staff, board, and volunteer levels of our institutions; ways to include underrepresented or marginalized communities at all levels of the interpretation of history and culture; how to make inclusivity a key part of museums’ institutional values and culture; and how to work towards the systemic change necessary to be successful in these processes. These important conversations are as challenging as they are engaging, exciting, and forward thinking. Alaska museums have a responsibility to take on these important issues and discuss them in their communities and institutions as well as within our statewide community of professionals so that we may grow and improve together. It is through these conversations, and important work that must follow them, that we will shape the museums of the future.
This year’s theme is inspired by the work of the American Alliance of Museums’ Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Working Group. The working group published a report last year that provides five insights, each with a call to action, regarding the values of DEAI. The full DEAI Working Group report can be found here.
AHS Theme: Facing Our History
Many of the events subjected to historical inquiry may be interpreted in very different ways. While some historians may represent them as positive events to be celebrated, to others they involve conflict, domination, and destruction. The history of Kodiak Island involves many such events, including the subjugation of Alutiiq people in the Russian colonial period, the American military rule prior to statehood, the effects of the Aleutian Campaign of World War II, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill’s impact on fisheries. The theme also recognizes the historian’s difficult task of documenting and interpreting past events objectively and openly, while recognizing that the resulting narrative may spark conflict with other people. Our goal must be to find cause for inspiration and learning in even the most disturbing history.
About the Organizers
Museums Alaska is the statewide museum association in Alaska. Museums Alaska supports museums and cultural centers in Alaska and enhances public understanding of their value. To accomplish its organizational purpose, Museums Alaska maintains a central office to receive and disburse information about museums, cultural centers and their activities, and to collect and share professional opportunities.
The Alaska Historical Society is a statewide organization dedicated to the understanding and promotion of Alaska history by the exchange of ideas and information, the preservation and interpretation of resources, and the education of Alaskans about their heritage. The association provides a forum for individuals interested in Alaska’s past to discuss new research, revisit past events, and share stories.
Alaska Historical Society
Dr. Sven Haakanson, Jr.