In March, just before the pandemic was declared, a small group of Naskapi students got to take a very special trip. Together with their principal and vice principal, Joseph Whelan and Shannon Uniam, as well as Jill Goldberg, the director of Naskapi liaison who had organized the trip, the small group headed to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. There they visited the Penn Museum, which is where Frank Speck, the American anthropologist who had visited the Naskapis almost 100 years prior, had brought numerous artifacts.
Students got to visit… their history. They got to handle a variety of objects from among the hundreds of items large and small, and even try on some of the caribou skin garments.
Students also got to visit the American Philosophical Society, which is considered the oldest “think tank” in the United States. Founded by Ben Franklin in 1743, it is where hundreds of photographic and other documentary archives are carefully stored, including those pertaining to the Naskapis.
If you click on the links below, you can read an article about the students’ visit, as well as other related links. Information is also available under links and documents.
- Naskapi connections: Restorative research in the Penn Museum collection
- Penn Museum Blog
- American Philosophical Society Library
- Penn Museum: A Naskapi Indian Robe
- Penn Museum: Paint Brush
Despite the pandemic, it is the NEC’s enthusiastic hope that when things are calmer and safe, that more people can also visit with Naskapi artifacts, reconnect with the history of the Naskapi people and listen to the stories the various artifacts tell.
More to come...