Reconnecting the Yaghan community to cultural belongings 90 years on

My name is Rebecca Carland. I am a senior curator at Museums Victoria, based at Melbourne Museum. My work centres on the history of the museum’s collections, how they came to the museum, and their journey through time and space. Like many museums established in the nineteenth century, we care for vast First Nations collections, from Australia and around the world. Increasingly, our work with these collections occurs against a backdrop of profound change in the museum’s approach to First Peoples’ authority. We are guided by a transformational principle which seeks to place First Peoples’ living cultures and histories at the core of our practice. Our current project, Lost in Translation, sits at the intersection of this new paradigm and the colonial legacy—collaborating with and giving back to the Yaghan community of Chile, who continue to practice their culture and connection to their lands.

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