Laura Peers, Ph.D.

Linking museums and Indigenous communities

Supporting productive dialogues between museums and Indigenous communities

Repatriation facilitation 

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.

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.