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Vickie Jensen and Jay Powell fonds Séries
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Chinook Jargon

Series is made up of records relating to the creation of a Chinook Jargon dictionary, a Big Book created for the Quileute on Chinook Jargon, and lessons for a Chinook Jargon class at Langara College. Powell documented the use of Chinook Jargon in LaPush during research on the Quileute language. His informants used Chinook Jargon regularly, and he began to research the history of its use on the Northwest Coast with the intention of writing a book about it. The manuscript for his book was accepted by the publishing company Douglas and McIntyre, but as Powell was not satisfied with his work, publication did not take place. However, he did produce a number of works that have been used for education purposes in LaPush as well as in British Columbia.

Series comprises six sub-series:
A. Research materials
B. Field notes and correspondence
C. Unpublished manuscript and lessons
D. Chinook Jargon dictionary files

Gitksan

Series documents Jensen and Powell’s work with and visits to the Gitksan speaking villages in North Western British Columbia. Jensen and Powell worked with the Gitksan to produce language and culture material.

Jensen’s first visit to Gitksan territory was in 1975, before they began to work with the communities.  Jensen was asked to accompany Dr. Marjorie Halpen of the Museum of Anthropology, Amelia Sussman Schultz (a former student of anthropologist Franz Boas) and UBC grad student Carol Sheehan McLaren to Prince Rupert and various Gitksan villages.  The impetus for the journey was that Schultz was interested in recovering her old dissertation notes that she left with William Beynon, a hereditary Tsimshian chief  who served as ethnographer, translator, and linguistic consultant to anthropologists including Boas. Although she had never completed her dissertation, in her retirement she regretted leaving the information.  During this trip Jensen photographed the Gitksan villages through which they travelled, making special note of the burial houses and totems she encountered.

Two years later the Gitksan band approached Jensen and Powell to create language and culture materials. Powell secured the funding through the BC Ministry of Education and the federal government.

Powell and Jensen lived and worked with the Gitksan in the summers from 1977 to 1981. The first three years were spent focussing on what they have termed the Eastern dialect. In this period they lived and worked in Kispiox, staying in a teacherage the first year (a small apartment built for housing teachers), and moving in the second year to the back room of the house of one of their linguistic informants, Clara Harris. The third year they again lived with Clara Harris until halfway through the summer when they decided to expand the project to include the Western dialect: at this time they moved to Kitwancool (now known as Gitanyow) where they again lived in a teacherage. The final two summers they returned to Kispiox to live with Clara Harris.

Powell worked with a number of linguistic informants, including Clara Harris, Edith Gawa, and Mary Johnson for the Eastern dialect, and Solomon Marsden, with the help of Ivan Good, Maggie Good, Cindy Morgan, Edith and Abel Campbell, David Milton, Olive Mulwain, Fred Johnson and Jeffrey Morgan for the Western. The materials produced throughout the Gitksan project are divided into Eastern and Western Gitksan. The books produced for the Eastern dialect were called Gitksan for Kids. The books for the Western dialect were called Learning Gitksan. In addition to the educational material, other resources were developed including illustrated alphabet sheets, the Northwest Coast Word List (which was intended as the basis for a full dictionary, a goal that did not transpire), and the Gitksan Teacher’s Manual.

As was the case with all the communities they lived in, Powell and Jensen found that work and recreation in small Aboriginal communities blended together, and many of the activities they took part in were incorporated into the language materials produced. Jensen photographed the cultural activities they attended, and they made audio and photographic records of Elders reminiscing about what they referred to as the “old ways.” Both Jensen and Powell were adopted into Gitksan tribes during their time living in the region: Jensen to the Firweed Clan, and Powell to the Lax Gibuu, or Wolf Clan, both of Kispiox. This series comprises all the records created during their stays in Gitksan villages.

The series consists of nine sub-series:
A. Field notes and correspondence
B. Research
C. Published educational materials
D. Unpublished manuscripts
E. Tsimshian-Gitksan materials
F. Eastern and Western Gitksan recordings
G. Eastern Gitksan photographs
H. Western Gitksan photographs
I. Doreen Jensen
J. Gitksan artist photographs

Tait

Series documents Nisga’a artist Norman Tait and his crew of carvers during a period in which they were prolific in their creation of totem poles.

Jensen first met Tait in the early 1970s when she would photographic artists’ works for Bud Mintz, Vancouver gallery owner.  In 1985 she had the idea to produce a book documenting the carving of a totem pole from start to finish.  She approached Tait, who initially refused but called Jensen back just a few days later to take her up on the offer, after being commissioned to create a pole for the Native Education Centre in Vancouver.

Jensen photographed Tait and his crew, which consisted of his brother Robert (Chip), his cousin Harry Martin (Hammy), his nephew Wayne Young and his eldest son Isaac (Ikey). She also made notes and audio recordings of Tait’s lessons to his crew, most of whom had never worked on such a large project. The photographs and tapes were used in the creation of the book Where the People Gather: Carving a Totem Pole. The project also led to the publication of a children’s version, Carving a Totem Pole and a paperback version titled Totem Pole Carving. The books were published in the early 1990s.

Jensen documented Tait’s next two major commissions: two poles for Capilano Mall in 1986, and a pole for Stanley Park in 1987.

In 1987 Tait adopted Jensen into the Nisga’a Eagle Clan and began to teach her about the responsibilities that came with the honour. The lessons were put into practice in 2001 when Tait asked Vickie to guard the body of a family member that had died.

The series includes photographic records of the creation of the four poles; audio recordings of lessons and interviews with Tait; transcripts of the audio tapes; and notes. The series consists of five sub-series:

A. Native Education Centre (NEC) pole photographs
B. Capilano Mall and Stanley Park poles photographs
C. Misc. photographs
D. Tait family and crew artists’ photographs
E. Audio tapes and transcripts.

Publications series

Series consists of books created by or contributed to by Powell and Jensen. Many of the publications are final versions of the language education materials made for community use. A small number are publications on indigenous culture of the Northwest Coast for which Powell and Jensen were consulted, or in which Jensen’s photographs were used.

Series also contains a small number of magazine articles authored by Powell or Jensen.

Nuu-chah-nulth

Series is made up of records related to the creation of a Nuu-chah-nulth (otherwise referred to as T’aat’aaqsapa, West Coast language, or Nootka) dictionary.

Powell was first contacted to do a Nuu-chah-nulth language project in 1989 by Andrew Callicum, a Nuu-chah-nulth Elder and acquaintance.  Originally they planned to create curriculum materials, but after John Thomas, a main informant, left the project, it was decided that they would create a dictionary instead.

Series comprises five sub-series:
A. Field notes
B. Dictionary/publications
C. Research materials
D. Morphological lexicon
E. Audio recordings

Salishan

Series contains records relating to Jensen and Powell’s work with the Salishan language groups in Musqueam and Shalalth territories, and events related to those communities. Although the records were created in a number of villages at different periods of time, Jensen and Powell arranged them together due to the linguistic connection they share.

In 1975 Powell received an Urgent Ethnology grant from the National Museum of Man (Now the Canadian Museum of Civilization) to do linguistic work in Kitamaat. However, this work fell through, and Powell contacted Arnold Guerin of the Musqueam band to discuss using the grant to prepare materials for Guerin’s Hunqum’i’num classes. Together they planned to produce three books: one of phonetics, one on grammar, and one on maths, with Jensen’s assistance in the layout and photography. From reel-to-reel recordings Powell and Paul Thiele of the UBC Library for the Blind produced cassettes to accompany the books. Only the first book was completed as planned, but Powell adapted the notes they had already taken to create two books for younger children. All of this resulted in Musqueam Language: Book 1 and Hunq’um’i’num for Kids: Books 1 & 2. Three years later in 1978 Leona Sparrow hired Jensen on grant money to teach a black and white photography course.

In 1989 the principal of the Shalalth School asked Powell to work with the band on language books.  With Harold Oldman and Bev Frank he compiled materials for two books, which were not published.  He also completed an alphabet sheet for the community to use.

Series also includes photographs taken by Jensen in 2003 of a ceremony returning city land to the Musequeam near Vanier Park.

Series comprises four sub-series:
A. Field notes and research
B. Publications
C. Musqueam photographs
D. Salishan audio recordings
E. Squamish photographs

Haisla

Series consists of records pertaining to the work Powell has done in Kitamaat Village.

In 2000 Powell began working on the Haisla Traditional Use Study (TUS) with community members Gerald Amos, Rod Bolton and Louise Barbetti.  For the TUS, Powell conducted interviews and checked information gathered against textual archival records of the region.  The first year of the project was funded by the BC Ministry of Forests, and the second year with a federal grant.  At the end of the second year, the study was completed with a report on the Haisla concept of ownership.

Upon completion of the TUS, Powell stayed on with the Haisla to work on outlining ownership in the regional watersheds to be used in Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) negotiations. This led to the creation of a book on Haisla land ownership and other traditions, explained using oral histories, to be distributed during a Unity Feast hosted by Chief Steve Wilson.

As he was working on the Haisla Unity Feast Book, Powell started to push for the development of a Haisla curriculum package for the schools in the Kitimat area. In the summer of 2005 Jenson travelled with Powell to Kitlope and photographed many of the areas included in the traditional oral histories of the region. This trip led to the creation of a curriculum booklet called By Punt to the Kitlope. The pamphlet was so successful that Powell was commissioned to create a booklet for the whole of the traditional Haisla territory. Beginning work on this project led to the discovery that most of the Haisla trapline registrations had lapsed or had been passed on to the incorrect person, owing to confusion between the traditional matrilineal method of inheritance and the emerging patrilineal way of passing on title. Powell embarked on a project with Rod Bolton to re-register Haisla traplines in a way that made sense to the community.

In 2006 Vickie “Eden” Robinson was hired to assist Powell in the creation of an archives for the Haisla, based on the material accrued during the time of Powell’s work in Kitamaat.

In 2008 the Kitamaat Village Council signed a two year contract with Powell. He will work for two weeks out of every two months to complete the remaining outstanding projects, including a Haisla place names map, the introduction to Haisla territory.

The series consists of five sub-series:
A. Notebooks
B. Reports
C. Publications and research material
D. Photographs
E. Interviews

Northwest Coast groups

Series consists of photographs documenting events in various communities throughout British Columbia and Washington State. These include community photographs in Mt. Currie; the Salish Linguistic Conference in Oman, Washington State; a Robert Davidson Pole Raising; coverage of NWC artifacts at the National Museum of Copenhagen in Denmark; coverage of 1992 Nuxalk Potlatch at Bella Coola for Canadian Museum of Civilization; and photographs of a Haida bentwood box.

Between working on language and education projects, Jensen was often hired by communities to document important events, such as pole-raisings, conferences and potlatches.  This series consists of the photographs taken at those events.

University of British Columbia (UBC) series

Series consists of photographs documenting totem pole raising or restoration and other events held at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Museum of Anthropology (MOA).

In 1976 Jensen was hired by MOA to document the installation of totem poles into the new building.  Jensen did not keep the negatives for these photographs (MOA did in this instance).  She was hired again in 1981 to create a slide loop of images to be featured in the museum.  After working with the museum, she felt welcome there and often gave talks or did training.  Most of the subsequent photographs in this series were taken at public events such as book launches or pole raisings.

Northwest Coast artists series

Series consists of photographs documenting Northwest Coast artists and their work throughout the 1970s and 1980s

Jensen first began to photograph works of art for Bud Mintz around 1973 when he was working for Langara College.  Before he opened his gallery she would go to the College to photograph the jewellery and art he had for sale.  Often the pieces had been purchased and he wanted to document what he had sold.  Once he opened his gallery of Aboriginal art in South Vancouver, Jensen would go to the gallery to take pictures.

Through her work with Bud Mintz Jensen met many Northwest coast artists, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. As she developed relationships with many of these artists, she documented them and their work.

Some of the later photographs of artists were taken to accompany articles and other work that Jensen was doing at the time.

Quileute

Powell first went to La Push, the Quileute village in Washington State, in 1969 to complete research for his PhD dissertation Proto-Chimakuan: A Reconstruction. While he documented the language he also developed relationships with the local families. During Jensen’s initial visit to La Push, the couple began their first collaborative work with the Quileute, as Jensen photographed the community for eventual use in a language book.

Powell completed his dissertation in 1974, but the language revival projects had only just begun for Jensen and Powell.  Over the next 36 years, they spent time in La Push every year, sometimes travelling down for a weekend, and sometimes staying for a month or two.  The results of these regular visits are a number of general linguistic books for adults and children; Big Books on culture specific themes to be used in schools; teaching materials to be used by Quileute language and culture teachers; cultural resource studies; dictionaries; and translated stories and resources for smaller language revitalization projects.  The records in this series consist of Powell’s research notes; drafts and outlines for the language books; photographs documenting the community; Jensen’s photographs taken of particular subjects for use in language and culture books; audio and visual records of events, stories, and cultural activities.

Jensen and Powell have a continuing relationship with the Quileute and are currently involved in an ongoing language revitalization project. Another dictionary is due to be published in 2009.

The series consists of eleven sub-series:
A. Research
B. Field notes
C. Administrative records
D. Publications
E. Village life photographs
F. Modern basket weavers’ photographs
G. Counting book photographs
H. Historical photographs and artefacts
I. Photographs of La Push folks
J. Audio recordings
K. Quinault materials

Kwak’wala

The series contains records created during a number of visits and projects completed with the Kwakwaka'wakw of Alert Bay.

After meeting David Grubb at the Salish Conferences in the early 1970s, Jensen was invited by Grubb to attend a potlatch on Gilford Island, just off Alert Bay.  It was the first potlatch that she attended, and Jensen photographed it in black and white without flash.

Around the same time, Gloria Cranmer Webster began involving her UBC colleague Powell in discussions on the development of a Kwak’wala orthography. The two worked on this project during their breaks at work, with the main end goal to create accurate labels for artefacts at the museum, then located in the basement of the library on campus.

In 1975, after she moved back to Alert Bay, Webster contacted Powell and asked him to assist her in the creation of a language and culture book for Kwak’wala speaking people. Powell travelled to Alert Bay, the first of many trips to do such work. Over the next few years, Powell and Jensen were invited to Alert Bay on a number of occasions to attend potlatches, pole raisings, and other community events. Jensen photographed the events, as well as other aspects of the community such as the day care and band school.

In 1980 Webster, on behalf of the U’Mista Cultural Centre, secured salaries for both Jensen and Powell for one full year. They were hired to produce language and culture books, but in reality helped with many other aspects leading to the opening of the Centre. They rented a house in the village and lived there full time for the year, immersing themselves in the community, and creating a body of records that integrates both work and community life. Jensen had permission to photograph extensively, and these are all included in this series. Powell did linguistic research and worked with teachers from both the band school and the provincial school that were located in the village. Jensen also photographed language and culture lessons to be used in the books being produced. During the year they lived in Alert Bay, they produced 12 language books and a teacher’s manual for U’mista.

In 1982 Powell and Jensen purchased a house in Alert Bay, further cementing their intentions to maintain connections to the community. They continued to attend and photograph events and potlatches between projects.

In 1983 the Kwak’wala Teacher Training Program (KTTP) was developed by Powell and Jensen. The program was a college credit course for local area teachers to train them to lead language and culture lessons in their classes. Jensen and Powell divided their teaching duties, involving another teacher named Joy Wild. The program was successful for two years.

Over the next 20 years many of their visits were social in nature, although they continued to keep a detailed record of the events they attended. In 2001 they completed a CD-ROM for the Learning Kwak’wala series. This project had been ongoing for some time.

The series also contains photographic records of two events that took place outside the realm of the language projects. The Canadian Museum of Civilisation hired Doug Cranmer to carve a new Wakas Pole to replace the decaying version in Stanley Park and contacted Jensen to document the event. The second set of photographs records a trip organised by U’Mista Cultural Centre for scholars and experts to visit Mimkwamlis (Village Island) and T’sadzis’nukwakme’ (New Vancouver).

The records kept in this series consist of recordings, photographs, research notes, draft teaching aids, and copies of completed resources for both children’s education and the KTTP.

The series consists of eleven sub-series:
A. U’Mista research/background
B. Research materials
C. Field notes
D. Publications
E. Kwak’wala teacher training program
F. Kwak’wala CD-ROM project
G. Kwak’wala photographs
H. Potlatch photographs.
I. Wakas pole raising in Stanley Park 1987 photographs
J. Trip to Village Island and New Vancouver photographs 2005.
K. Audio recordings

Shuswap

Series consists of records pertaining to the development of Shushwap Language books and a teacher’s manual.

In the summer of 1979 Jensen and Powell moved to Alkali Lake for the summer to begin the Shuswap project.  The work later expanded to include the communities of Soda Creek, Dog Creek, Canim Lake and Sugar Cane.  Their primary language resources were Phyllis Chelsea and Celina Harry for the younger students’ books, and Phyllis Chelsea, Celina Harry, Cecelia DeRose, May Dixon, Elizabeth Pete, Minnie Phillips, Margaret Gilbert, Lucy Archie, Sharon Paul, and Cecile Harry for the older students’ book.  In the latter part of the project Powell and Jensen also developed a curriculum with Joy Wild, and produced a teacher’s manual.

The series consists of seven sub-series:
A. Project records phase I
B. Project records phase II
C. Research
D. Original manuscripts for publications
E. Shuswap Teacher Training
F. Photographs and slides
G. Recordings.