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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

Research

Consists of articles, books, reports, maps, newsletters, and other information gathered by Powell as research into the culture and language of the Quileute. The research was used for both his dissertation and for subsequent education and teaching materials.

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

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

Vickie Jensen and Jay Powell

  • 3
  • Fonds
  • 1969-2008

Fonds consists of records relating to the numerous culture and language projects that Powell and Jensen worked on since 1976. The communities with which they worked include:
• The Quileute of La Push
• The Kwakwaka’wakw of Alert Bay
• The Gitksan of Kispiox, Gitanyow, and surrounding villages
• The Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island
• The Musqueam of Vancouver
• The Seton Lake St'at'imc (Lillooet) of Shalalth
• The Shuswap of Alkali Lake, Soda Creek, Dog Creek, Canim Lake, and Sugar Cane
• The Haisla of Kitamaat
• The Nisga’a of Gingolx (Kincolith) and New Aiyansh

Most of the projects had an end goal to produce a book, language education materials, or teacher training materials.  Often the education materials incorporated cultural lessons throughout.  The records created in the production of the books are varied and reflect the intrinsic connection between language, culture, and daily activities in the communities. Powell and Jensen were co-editors for nearly all of the language books and materials produced.  Although some of the projects reflected in the records were done primarily by Powell or primarily by Jensen, the vast majority of the work involves collaboration between the two in some aspect.  As Jensen and Powell immersed themselves in the communities they worked for, often their personal photographs and records are interspersed with those relating to their work.  This community involvement enhanced their relationships with the people with whom they were working and allowed them to experience and participate in cultural activities as part of those communities.  This close relationship is reflected in and is integral to their work.  Jensen and Powell have two sons: Nels, born in 1978, and Luke, born in 1981.  Their sons travelled with them to the communities in which they worked and lived, and on their work trips and sabbaticals.  Nels and Luke are also present in many of the photographic records.

The records contain a mixture of research, field notes, administrative records, and publications at various stages, in addition to audio and visual records. Field notes, for the most part handwritten, and archival research into language and culture groups was undertaken by Powell, whilst the majority of the photography, found in a variety of formats, was done by Jensen. Manuscripts and final publications were a combined effort and are included at various stages. Administrative records, including grant proposals, are found throughout.

Fonds consists of 13 series of records. Series are arranged according to community and/or project, and include:

1. Quileute
2. Chinook Jargon
3. Kwak’wala (U’Mista)
4. Gitksan
5. Nuu-chah-nulth
6. Salishan
7. Shuswap
8. Haisla
9. Tait
10. Northwest Coast artists
11. Northwest Coast groups
12. UBC totems/events
13. Publications

Vickie Jensen and Jay Powell

Bill Reid

Series consists of records created and collected by McLennan relating to Bill Reid and his art held both in private collections and at the MOA. Projects included in these records are the installation of Raven and the First Men in the MOA and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii at the Vancouver International Airport. Photographs also document jewelry designed by Bill Reid, along with small sculptures, large scale sculptures, ivory and argillite works and drums

Darrin Morrison fonds

  • 106
  • Fonds
  • 1998 - 2005

Fonds consists of material related to Morrison’s involvement with several exhibits at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, as well as his work planning and implementing preventative conservation measures, and his work design the Museum Research Centre. The fonds consists of one series of Exhibitions with sub-series corresponding to separate exhibits. Another series consists of information on a book on textiles and costumes. The last series consists of information about building projects that Morrison was involved with. Material consists of correspondence, handwritten notes, exhibit catalogs, poster and invitation proofs, budgets, slides, copy and 35 mm negatives, floppy disks, project descriptions, postcards, video cassettes and artist histories.

    The fonds is arranged in the following series:
  1. Exhibitions
  2. Textiles and Costume
  3. Building Projects

See attached pdf document for series descriptions and file lists.

Darrin Morrison

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.

Transforming Image

Subseries contains records directly related to the planning, development and execution of the Transforming Image exhibit at MOA. Planning for the exhibit began in 1983 when grants were obtained to begin research on Northwest Coast paintings. The exhibit itself occurred in 1993. The exhibit was the end result of research and development of a technique to view severely faded Northwest Coast First Nations paintings and painted objects through the use of infrared technology. Records include correspondence and information requests, public relations files, grant application information, budgeting information, papers, conferences and publications about the Transforming Image, files related to the publishing of the Transforming Image book and school interest in the exhibit.

Due to its large volume, The Transforming Image subseries has been broken down further into sub- subseries: Administration records; Research files; Book related; and Institutional photographs.

ref # 1-1-MMM-1

Administration records

Sub subseries consists of administration records including correspondence, information requests, public relations files, grant application information, budget information, papers, conferences and publications about Transforming Image.

Research files

Sub subseries consists of research files, including research conducted by McLennan at various museums and cultural heritage institutions regarding artifacts that could benefit from the infrared photography project Transforming Image, photographs of the exhibit at MOA and in Port Alberni and research on infrared photography.

Book related

Materials in this sub subseries relate to the production and publication of the Transforming Image book, written by McLennan and Karen Duffek based on the Transforming Image exhibit at MOA.

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