Practices of collaboration : exploring institutional culture at the Laboratory of Archaeology

by Kate Lynn Roth

Institution: University of British Columbia
Year: 2015
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2095555
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/54654


Collaboration is an important process for achieving partnerships between Indigenous groups and researchers working in the fields of archaeology and museum anthropology. Julia Harrison (2005) suggests that the unique culture of an institution should be considered a critical factor in developing successful collaborations between museums and communities. This thesis explores the idea of institutional culture further through a case study of the Laboratory of Archaeology at UBC (LOA). The purpose of this research is to examine the ways an archaeological repository can engage in collaborative work and to explore how institutional culture develops over time. This paper draws on interviews, archival research and my own experience working at LOA. I first look at LOA’s institutional history to examine how its culture has developed. Instead of exploring one collaborative project, I discuss key events as part of a larger on-going collaborative process. This provides important context for LOA’s current approaches to working with communities. I explore a number of LOA’s practices and policies, analyzing how they address power asymmetry and facilitate sharing knowledge between communities and archaeologists. Finally, I examine how these approaches have become a part of LOA’s institutional culture through both practice and written policy.