Laura Peers, Ph.D.
Linking museums and Indigenous communities
Please note that I am currently working for the Canadian Canoe Museum, and am not accepting contracts.
I am happy to refer you to colleagues to assist with collections research or repatriation cases; please do contact me.
Supporting productive dialogues between museums and Indigenous communities
Museum/ community engagement: grant writing, project management
Research on Indigenous cultural items in museums: provenance, identification
Writing, editing, manuscript review
Teaching and lecturing
I am happy to discuss potential projects without obligation.
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About my work
Since the 1980s I have worked for and with Indigenous communities, heritage groups, government agencies and the museum sector internationally.
I am proud of my track record of positive relationships with Indigenous individuals, communities and organizations and of bringing Indigenous communities together with museums in productive and positive ways.
My work links museums and Indigenous communities around collections of Indigenous heritage and cultural items, opening productive relationships for creative projects and resolving repatriation claims.
I have contributed to professional shifts in practice internationally regarding Indigenous heritage collections and ancestral remains. My publications include the widely-cited works Museums and Source Communities (2003, with Alison Brown) and This is Our Life (2013, with Cara Krmpotich). I was honoured to contribute to the development of RBCM’s Repatriation Handbook.
After working in the UK for 20 years providing national and international leadership in ethnographic museum curation, I have relocated to Peterborough, ON and am pleased to support changes in the museum profession internationally regarding repatriation and decolonization.
Areas of expertise:
Identification and provenance research for 17thC-20thC Indigenous heritage items
Linking historic Indigenous collections to contemporary Indigenous communities, opening dialogues, grant writing for engagement projects, project management
Extensive experience working collaboratively with Indigenous communities
Policy development in relation to repatriation, Indigenous access, decolonization
Leadership, coaching and mentoring in the museum and heritage sector
Professional and postgraduate teaching on issues related to museums and Indigenous peoples, museum anthropology, material culture
Image credits: photograph of Laura Peers, Tal Adler; photograph of floral beadwork, Laura Peers; photograph of Pitt Rivers Museum 1884.57.25 and the 'child of the Great Box' carved by Gwaai Edenshaw and Jaalen Edenshaw, Robert Rapoport.