Background of The Traveling Exhibition Project

Since 2010, tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota have been meeting regularly to share, learn, and plan. 

Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services––in partnership with tribal communities throughout Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin––the Convening Culture Keepers mini-conferences and regional institutes have helped support a growing regional network of tribal cultural workers.

Most meetings have focused on continuing professional development. However, in October 2014, following a group strategic planning session at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, tribal representatives prioritized ongoing collaboration by developing a community co-curated traveling exhibition. 

In 2015, this dream became possible through a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which funds planning and training opportunities through 2018. 

To date, regional tribal librarian, archivists, and museum curators have met numerous times to plan the exhibition. Here are a list of recent gatherings and accomplishments:

April 2015 – Mille Lacs Indian Museum 


1.) Group Session on Big Dreams for Traveling Exhibition

October 2015 – Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways


  1. Draft Vision Statements 
  2. Logic Model and Project Outcomes 
  3. Selected Three Themes to Explore

April 2016 – Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center, Library & Museum


  1. Final Overall Theme Selected of “We Are Still Here” 
  2. Sub-themes selected
    1. land & environment
    2. language & culture 
    3. colonization
    4. 7th Generation & community healing 
  3.  Tribal Communities are the Primary Audience

October 2016 – Mille Lacs Indian Museum 


  1. Work Committees Created
  2. Timeline Developed 
  3. Submission Database Created 
  4. Project Abstract Created 
  5. MOU Drafted

Funded by: