Candidate Elections 2021: NAAS Steering Committee

The following candidates are running in the 2021 Native American Archives Section (NAAS) election. Five positions are open this year:

  • One Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (three-year term)
  • Four Steering Committee members (two-year terms)

Please take some time to review the candidates' statements. Voting will begin later in the summer. SAA staff will send out links to ballots via email, so please keep an eye on your inbox.

Thanks to all of our candidates for standing in this year's election, and thanks to all of our members for voting!

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (One Opening)

The following candidate is running for Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of NAAS. Please see below for her bio and candidate statement.

  • Selena Ortega-Chiolero, Museum Specialist, Chickaloon Village Traditional Council

Selena Ortega-Chiolero

Bio: Selena Ortega-Chiolero is currently the Museum Specialist for Chickaloon Village Traditional Council (CVTC) where she is managing the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council Permanent Collections and Archives that encompass the history and culture of the Ahtna Dené of Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax (Chickaloon Native Village) in Southcentral Alaska.

Selena has worked in the museum and non-profit industries for 12 years. Her long and eclectic career started in Sacramento, California, where she supported 40 Acres Art Gallery in their work in promoting and sharing the artistic talents of underrepresented minorities in the art field, and at the Crocker Art Museum where she assisted in research for the interactives in their 2009 exhibit "Soaring Voices."

Since then, Selena has become a leading museum professional in her state helping to grow Alaska's museum industry and bridging the gap between traditional museum practices and indigenous heritage preservation. Through her participation in Washington State University's Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation's Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort Program and ATALM's Culture Builds Communities Cohort Program, she has promoted the implementation of reparative description and collaborative curation through digital repatriation. As a member of the 2021–2023 University of Virginia’s Rare Book School Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Heritage she continues to advocate for the advancement of multicultural collections and support for BIPOC professionals working in archives and museum collections.

Selena holds degrees in Art History and Asian Studies from California State University, Sacramento, and Certifications in Museum Studies, from the Institute of American Indian Arts and in Cultural Heritage Tourism, from George Washington University.

Selena is passionate about cultural heritage. She has made a lifelong commitment to creating sustainable communities that promote the culture, education, and preservation of their histories through inclusive narratives and diverse representation.

Candidate Statement: Kuira bá/Ugheli Dzaen (Hola/Greetings)! I am interested in continuing to serve on the NAAS Steering Committee because as a forum for the Society of American Archivists (SAA), NAAS has the potential of redefining how archives and archivists collect, manage, and present the cultural materials in their care. Although there have been some changes in the culture of how archives and archivists operate, there is still a disconnect between them and the source communities from which many of their collection materials originate. For this reason, relationships between source communities and archives remain precarious, at best. There is still a wide distrust for institutionalized repositories among Indigenous communities. I believe NAAS can lead SAA towards rebuilding that trust. However, in order to successfully do this, they must begin to understand the nature of Tribal cultural resources, how they are managed within their Tribal communities, and how outside repositories can collaborate with them to strengthen those resources while improving their own. I believe the most meaningful way to do this is by having a representative on the NAAS Steering Committee that is actually from a Tribal repository, not just those from federal and institutionalized collections.

I believe my continued involvement could help bridge that gap and provide a deeper insight into Tribal cultural resource needs as well as broaden the committee’s access to other Indigenous voices. My vision for the section in the upcoming year is to see more Tribal involvement in NAAS and more NAAS involvement with Tribes, that can lead to further collaborative efforts. I believe this can be achieved through:

  • Creating a collaborative NAAS–Tribal Archives network that could provide personal insight, mutually beneficial resources that support NAAS future work and help meet Tribal archives needs.
  • Developing strategic partnerships with Tribal-related organizations that can help rebuild SAA’s relationships with source communities (such as the Association for Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums and the Association of American Indian Affairs).
  • Identifying and inviting Indigenous professionals in the field to share their opinions, knowledge and experience through authorship using SAA and NAAS publication outlets.

Steering Committee (Four Openings)

The following candidates are running for a position on the NAAS Steering Committee. Please scroll down the page for their bios and candidate statements.

  • Brian Carpenter, Curator of Indigenous Materials, American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum
  • Sam(antha) Meier, Archivist for Discovery and interim Collections Manager, Cline Library, Northern Arizona University
  • Katherine Meyers Satriano, Senior Archivist, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
  • Lotus Norton-Wisla, Digital and Community Outreach Archivist, Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, Washington State University

Brian Carpenter

Bio: Brian Carpenter is the Curator of Indigenous Materials at the American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum. An archivist by training, he began working at the APS in 2008 on a six-year project to digitize and catalog all of the Library’s 3000+ hours of audio recordings of Indigenous languages of the Americas. He has implemented the APS’s Protocols for the Treatment of Indigenous Materials (inspired by PNAAM) through surveys of the entirety of the APS’s collections to identify potentially culturally sensitive materials for restriction and review by Indigenous communities, designed and directed an overhaul of the metadata and structure of the APS’s repository-wide Indigenous Subject Guide, and has worked with over 90 Native communities throughout North America to enhance their access to archival materials at the APS through digital sharing of collections and to receive their guidance on ways to improve the meaningful representation and appropriate uses of the collections.

Candidate Statement: From the start of my archives career through the present, I have benefited from the guidance and leadership of the Native American Archives Section as a source of collective wisdom and progressive vision brought together from the experience and expertise of colleagues in the field. As a non-Native archivist tasked with overseeing the care of a major Indigenous-related archival collection, I believe that I can contribute to the Steering Committee and be of use to my colleagues in NAAS by sharing my experiences of implementing many different aspects of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, particularly the realm of advocating for and advancing these policies within non-Native memory institutions, especially independent (non-university, non-governmental) research institutions. I have also done extensive work in metadata remediation, improving the approachability (not just accessibility) of a non-Native archival institution, and the cultivation of ongoing, meaningful relationships between archives and Native Nations. I am, of course, not the only person with such experiences and perspectives, but I believe that the particulars of my experiences may be a useful contribution to the Steering Committee. I would be honored to serve in that capacity if my colleagues in NAAS feel I am a good candidate.

Sam(antha) Meier

Bio: Sam(antha) Meier is the Archivist for Discovery at Cline Library’s Special Collections and Archives, Northern Arizona University, in her hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona. In this role, she oversees the processing, arrangement, and description of SCA’s archival holdings, including implementing the guidance of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials. Previously, Sam served as a Library Technician with the Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress. There, she collaborated with members of the Collections, Access, Preservation and Analysis (CAPA) team to improve public access to and engagement with VHP’s unique collections through the creation of new reference tools, including video tutorials and LibGuides, innovative pop-up displays utilizing archival surrogates, and online curation and exhibition projects such as the June 2019 Story Map “D-Day Journeys.” Sam received her Master of Archival Studies, First Nations Curriculum Concentration, from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2016. During her Masters, she served as an archival technician at the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and a digitization assistant at UBC Library’s Digitization Centre. Sam is currently at work on a forthcoming underground comix anthology with cartoonist Joyce Farmer, based on her award-winning undergraduate honors thesis at Harvard College.

Candidate Statement: I decided to become an archivist after several years of independent archival research based on my undergraduate work on feminist underground comix from the 1970s and 1980s. My experiences conducting archival research at institutions ranging from the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn to the University of Indiana Bloomington to the Library of Congress demonstrated to me that archives not only support academic endeavors, but also are key sites of knowledge for ongoing social justice struggles. My focus as an early-career archivist has been on mobilizing records (to use a phrase coined by Wood, Carbone, Cifor, Gilliland, and Punzalan) to support community needs, particularly those of historically marginalized communities. In my current role, I focus my efforts on meeting the needs of diverse communities on the Colorado Plateau, including Cline Library’s cultural and institutional partners such as the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and others.

Beginning with my graduate work at the University of British Columbia, I have actively pursued opportunities to educate myself regarding the information needs of Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States and to center those communities in my archival praxis. As a queer, cisgender, white woman who grew up in the shadow of the sacred San Francisco Peaks, I am aware of my responsibility as a non-tribal archivist to redress harms caused by my institution’s historic collecting and management practices. In my current role as Archivist for Discovery, I have worked to integrate the recommendations provided by the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials into SCA’s departmental policies and accessioning and processing workflows, so that my department is well-equipped to respond to requests for information from culturally affiliated communities and to consult with our tribal partners regarding appropriate management of our archival materials and reparative description efforts. I have shared my work and the work of my past and present colleagues at Cline Library with archivists throughout the state and across the nation. If elected to the Steering Committee, I would seek to contribute to the excellent work carried out by the Native American Archives Section to date, working collaboratively with my peers to provide additional guidance to non-tribal archivists regarding the culturally responsive care of Indigenous archival materials and to support Indigenous colleagues and tribal archivists.

Katherine Meyers Satriano

Bio: As Senior Archivist at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, Katherine manages the Archives and is a member of cross-departmental Peabody working groups for ethical stewardship initiatives. She was previously Associate Archivist, providing reference services to Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and visitors. She has also worked as Collections Assistant at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and as contract archivist for the Winthrop Group. Katherine is interested in culturally competent language use in archival description, building collaborative relationships with Indigenous communities, and promoting ethical stewardship of culturally sensitive material.

Last year, she co-organized a SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context) edit-a-thon. The goals were to facilitate searchability for anthropological archival material that has been dispersed to multiple repositories (important for enabling NAGPRA-related research), and to create more and fuller authority records for Indigenous people. This year, she is co-organizing a new version of the edit-a-thon driven by Indigenous involvement at every stage of the process.

Katherine served on the Museum Archives Section’s Standards and Best Practices Working Group from 2016–2021. She received her MLIS with a concentration in Archives Management from Simmons GSLIS.

Candidate Statement: Since September, I have volunteered for the Native American Archives Section, working on drafting an expanded resource page for the NAAS website that will act as a centralized list of tools, articles, best practices, and presentations useful for Native American archival collections. As a member of the Steering Committee, I would continue with the implementation of this page, ensuring that we provide resources relevant to each section of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials.

I would also like to support the Section’s ongoing work of producing case studies and webinars on the Protocols. I think the case studies and webinars produced so far are effective tools for advocating change, a font of practical advice, and vital resources for institutions working on decolonization. 

As I have been working with a collection at the Peabody relating to Indigenous peoples of the Kalahari Desert such as the Ju/’hoansi, I have become increasingly interested in how it may be possible to connect with Indigenous communities internationally and allied organizations. On the Steering Committee, I would be interested in thinking about how we might be able to form more of these relationships and learn about international Indigenous perspectives.

NAAS is such a welcoming, supportive, passionate, thoughtful group, and I would be honored to serve on the Steering Committee!

Lotus Norton-Wisla

Bio: Lotus Norton-Wisla is the Digital and Community Outreach Archivist at Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC). She currently supports CDSC initiatives including Mukurtu CMS and the Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN) and collaborates with the WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections team.

Lotus is passionate about collaboration in her own institution and across organizations. She coordinated the Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort Program from 2015–2020, teaching, facilitating conversations, and learning from individuals working in a variety of Indigenous departments, programs, and organizations. Through this and other projects, she builds and supports relationships and strives to be a resource to others in information sharing and problem-solving. Lotus earned her Digital Archives Specialist Certificate in 2018 and continues to seek out continuing education. She shares knowledge by providing educational resources on digital archives and preservation on the SHN, with an interest in supporting small institutions and communities at the beginning of digital projects.

She has served as Secretary of the Northwest Archivists Native American Collections Roundtable since 2019, supporting the NACR’s work to expand membership and provide programming and advocacy around Indigenous information issues. She received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a concentration in Archives and Records Management. During graduate school, she learned from many teachers through attending Convening Culture Keepers gatherings and participating in UW-Madison's Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums classes and service-learning opportunities.

Candidate Statement: After several years of benefitting from NAAS efforts in programming, events, and the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, I would like to join the Native American Archives Section as a Steering Committee member. I bring strengths in supporting collaboration and communication across groups, listening to the viewpoints of Indigenous colleagues, and applying what I’ve learned in my work and service opportunities. I hope to draw from my experiences in my position at WSU, as well as past professional service and collaboration in the Northwest and Great Lakes regions.

If elected, these are some areas I would be interested in supporting and pursuing:

  • Educating myself and others about respectful consultation and collaboration with Indigenous communities and supporting NAAS engagement with MLIS programs.
  • Increasing connections and collaborations with regional archives organizations.
  • Strengthening membership in NAAS among Tribal information professionals, with the understanding that many different positions and departments engage in archives-related work.
  • Beginning to understand and address how NAAS or other sections/organizations might support Indigenous information professionals who are tasked with building digital infrastructure with or without IT departments when engaging in digitization and born-digital archiving, or with digital return projects in collaboration with external institutions.