The Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives & Museum has announced the availability of the Ethel Montgomery Scholarship application. Applicants for the up to $4,000 scholarship must be enrolled in an Alaskan federally-recognized tribe and pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in museum studies.
The Ethel Montgomery Scholarship Fund was established in the 1990s to assist university-level Alaska Native students majoring in museum studies. Ethel Montgomery, one of the first docents at the Alaska State Museum and longtime member of the Friends, was adopted into the Kaagwaantaan Wolf Clan and became an active member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood. One of her dreams was to help young Alaska Natives become curators and directors of museums that celebrate their cultures. The combination of her love for museums and for the Native people contributed to her establishment of this scholarship.
Thanks to the Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum, the State Museum was able offer a new and significant opportunity through the use of the Ethel Montgomery Scholarship fund. The first Intern in the new program was Andrea Cook.
In addition to learning basic job skills and the fundamentals of museum work, she also designed and completed a project to enhance ASM’s collections records for a subset of objects. Cook chose 11 items with connections to Hydaburg, her hometown. Unbeknownst to her at the outset, her Great Great Grandfather, John Wallace, made three of these items. Over the course of Cook’s summer internship, she dug deep within files and in the library stacks, as well as reached out to her family in Hydaburg to learn more about John Wallace. Ultimately, Cook saw profound parallels between his life and her own journey. Her experience culminated with a presentation at UAS’s Power Privilege Symposium in November 2019. Video of Cook’s riveting presentation, “Toward Indigenous Collections Management at the Alaska State Museum” and community comments and questions is available on the UAS YouTube station.Programs like the Indigenous Collections Management Internship are vital in making ASM an equitable gathering place, and ensuring that indigenous people are leaders and decision makers in Alaska’s museums.
Photo Above: Scholarship recipient and intern Andrea Cook
Photo Below: Ethel Montgomery ASL-P348-767
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FoSLAM is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 22421, Juneau, AK 99802