Candidate Elections 2018: NAAS Steering Committee

Candidate Biographies and Statements

***Voting opens July 10th! Members will receive a separate email from SAA with voting instructions. Voting is open until July 31st.****


Stephen R. Curley

Museum Administrator

Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum (Topawa, Ariz.)

Bio: Stephen R. Curley, MLS is a member of the Navajo Nation and is the Administrator for the Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum. In this position, Stephen is responsible for establishing institutional objectives involving programming, collections development, collections management, and services provided by the museum. Stephen is trained as a professional archivist and is committed to being of service to American Indian communities with respect to their archives & museums in order to bolster and develop those institutions and systems associated with them. He finds it imperative for tribes, as nations, to bolster such institutions for themselves so they can effectively continue to cultivate not only a sense of cultural identity, but also a national identity, through the adaptation of these nontraditional information infrastructures. As a tribal-centric scholar, Stephen finds that information infrastructures are still quite nascent with respect to tribal institutions. Since tribal archives, libraries, and museums are developing yet, it is an exciting time to implement their strengths and to bolster the areas considered lacking in creative and new directions. Stephen is actively working towards contributing resolve to these fundamental questions that tribes will be answering.

Statement: My vision for NAAS is for it to be an easily approachable and accessible resource to current and future archivists and relevant disciplines who are currently working with or hoping to work with tribal communities with respect to collections pertinent to these same communities. Moreover, in order for NAAS to be effective it must reach further outward to other disciplines so that archivy and its methodologies are understood and valued therein by American Indian people. In order for this to be successful, NAAS will develop outreach initiatives to tribal peoples via the Native Nations Institute; the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums; National Congress of American Indians; and others organizations regarding the importance of the archives and its applications in tribal settings. Indian country is vast and diverse; the NAAS must network and collaborate with such entities whom are established and trusted in tribal communities and governments alike in order to facilitate meaningful action.

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Caitlin Haynes

Smithsonian Transcription Center

Bio: Caitlin Haynes is the Coordinator for the Smithsonian Transcription Center. In this position, she is responsible for digital volunteer engagement, outreach, and the coordination of new projects for crowdsourced transcription from all Smithsonian museums, research centers, libraries, and archives. She holds an MA in United States History and an MLIS in Archives and Records Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to serving in her current position, Caitlin was the Reference Archivist at the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History from 2015-2018, where she was responsible for all onsite and remote reference and outreach, including coordination of research visits and collaborative projects with Native communities—the NAA’s second largest user group.

Statement: As a current NAAS steering committee member, I would like to continue and expand my role with NAAS. There are many opportunities for collaboration with Native communities, archivists, and cultural heritage professionals. I would love to see NAAS help lead these efforts and reignite conversations regarding how SAA and the archival profession can improve relationships with Native archivists and researchers, and further guide culturally sensitive and appropriate practices related to Indigenous archival collections. I hope to continue my current efforts with the NAAS committee to publish case studies related to the adoption and implementation of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, as well as create new outreach initiatives with Native archivists and communities. I look forward to seeing how NAAS and the SAA can continue to grow, become even more inclusive, and highlight diversity and different knowledge ways throughout the archival profession.

Steering Committee (Two Openings)

Liza Posas

Head of Research Services and Archives
Autry Museum of the American West

Bio: Liza Posas joined the Autry Museum of the American West in 2005  where  she currently serves as the Head of Research Services and Archives. She received her MLIS in 2002 from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2003, UC Santa Barbara Libraries awarded her a library fellowship  designed to increase the diversity of underrepresented groups in academic libraries.  Currently, Ms. Posas and her colleagues are developing policies that foster ethical stewardship practices for collections containing culturally sensitive information or restricted tribal knowledge.  Ms. Posas shares the development of this endeavor through professional conference presentations and in the article “New Discoveries and New Directions for the Archaeological Archives at the Autry Museum” in Advances in Archaeological Practice (August 2017).

Ms. Posas also holds a faculty position with the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries as the Coordinator for LA as Subject, a multi-faceted consortium for LA archives.  As Coordinator, she facilitates projects like the LA as Subject Resident Archivist program, grant-funded by IMLS; the Monomania LA video series funded by CalHumanties; and the annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar. The California Historical Records Advisory Board awarded Ms. Posas the 2018 Archival Award of Excellence for her work with LA as Subject.

Statement: I would be honored to serve on the NAAS Steering Committee. I look forward to constructively participating in discussions and activities that coincide with the committee’s current endeavors and mission to “educate archivists on the complexities and beauty of Native American archives of the western hemisphere.” The Autry museum has the 2nd largest object collection of Native American material culture in the United States. The Library and Archives of the Autry contain primary and secondary sources that support the study of the museum’s object collection, including those related to archeological expeditions conducted from the early to mid-1900s. My work often considers the balance of access and restriction as well as the challenges associated with providing content-rich and inclusive archival description. In a practical sense, I also am currently focused on building a critique of existing practices in various institutions while taking into account implementation feasibility (or “doability”), collaboration elements, human resources, and sustainability factors. I hope to serve the NAAS Steering Committee, in particular, with my experiences and lessons learned when developing cross-departmental policies that mandate staff to take an active and conscientious role in consulting with different Native nations and indigenous communities on how to best describe and manage affiliated holdings. I also look forward to engaging with the NAAS Steering Committee, in general, to assess traditional library, museum, and archive practices against (or in concert with) the ideas of indigeneity discussed in other realms of scholarship and communities.

Melissa Stoner

Native American Studies Librarian
University of California, Berkeley

Bio: Melissa Stoner is Native American Studies Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley.  She specializes in metadata and digital archives. Currently she is building the archival digitization lab for the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library and coordinating metadata collection for the H.K. Yuen Social Justice Audio Collection.  Melissa is Co-Chair of the UC Berkeley Native American Museum and Libraries Working Group. The working group focuses on developing protocols for ethnographic materials held by the university collections.  Previously, she worked at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as Project Manager on the National Digital Newspaper Project.  Prior to that she was Digital Project Manager at Nevada State College on an IMLS grant funded project to digitize local oral histories.  She was a 2016 American Library Association Emerging Leader, sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Association.  She has served on the LITA Diversity & Inclusion Committee for two years, including the 2017-2018 committee chair.

Statement: I am Diné and grew up on the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, NM. I am especially interested in advocating for digital archives to follow culturally sensitive practices when handling Native American collections. I want to see libraries and archives give Native communities a say in how Native collections are handled. One of my hopes is to raise awareness among Native American and indigenous librarians and archivists about the current protocols and practices in place. I hope to work together with Native and Indigenous communities to improve protocols of these practices when working with archives wherever they exist.