Abbe Museum receives $169K grant to ‘decolonize’ its practices

Mainebiz, September 7, 2018

"The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor has received a $169,070 Museums for America grant to continue "decolonizing" its practices in documenting and interpreting Native American history and experience.

As Maine's first and only Smithsonian affiliate, the Abbe Museum's mission is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations at its two locations: in downtown Bar Harbor and inside Acadia National Park at Sieur de Monts Spring. The museum works closely with the Wabanaki people to share their stories, history and culture and has a collection of over 70,000 archaeological, historic and contemporary objects.

It also holds the world's largest and best-documented collection of Maine Native American basketry.

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, who has been president and CEO of the Abbe Museum since 2009, has been co-leading the museum's decolonization initiative, which includes developing policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and collaboration with Maine's Wabanaki people.

In a recorded TEDxDirigo talk in Portland delivered on Nov. 5, 2016, Catlin-Legutko explained the urgency behind the museum's efforts to decolonize its practices and displays.

""How does the work I do cause another person's pain and anguish?" she wrote in a blog posting accompanying the link to her TEDxDirigo talk on the museum's web page. "How dare I ignore this pain?""

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