In response to the priorities of tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators, SLIS, the iSchool at UW-Madison, coordinates grant-funded professional development mini-conferences and regional institutions.

The gatherings take place in tribal communities with culturally relevant, hands-on learning opportunities, including community tours, cultural events, daylong classes, and group planning sessions.

Current Professional Development Gatherings

Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through 2018, SLIS is currently coordinating Growing Great Lakes Culture Keepers, a multi-tiered project that brings together continuing education, graduate education, and project-based learning. The effort includes three Convening Great Lakes Culture Keepers regional institutes, a summer graduate-level service-learning course, and two work meeting––all designed to facilitate the development of a regional traveling exhibition co-curate by tribal cultural workers.

Past Professional Development Gatherings

Since 2010, SLIS has coordinated Convening Culture Keepers mini-conferences and Convening Great Lakes Culture Keepers, funded respectively by the UW-Madison Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment and the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. While initially designed for Wisconsin tribal cultural workers, the gatherings grew to include Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators.