Curator's Statement

Curator’s Statement

I wish to begin by acknowledging that this exhibit is taking place on the traditional lands of the People now known as the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, as well as the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.  I make this acknowledgment in an attempt to come to terms with the imbalance of representations of Native culture in the Browne Popular Culture Library. Despite the formation of this library in 1969, a time when Native cultures were being more carefully considered, the artifacts we have gathered represent mainly negative portrayals of Native Americans. We recognize the problematic nature of the policies and actions that led us to this point.

The complexity and number of Native cultures in North America make it difficult for us to represent all peoples, however we acknowledge that the efforts made in the past were insufficient, and wish to examine ways to improve our collections in this area.

I also want to note that while I have consulted many sources and attempted to account for many viewpoints in my research, I understand that my privilege as a white male working in an academic setting has an inevitable impact on the selection of items displayed in this exhibit.

The Browne Popular Culture Library takes seriously its role in documenting and preserving the entirety of popular culture. We welcome any and all feedback and criticism as we attempt to do so.


Steve Ammidown

Manuscripts & Outreach Archivist