We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence

We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence

  • general-other-non-fiction
  • history-politics-current-affairs
  • indigenous
  • religion-spirituality

In January 2000, the Glenbow Museum formally returned 251 ceremonial items from its collections to the Blackfoot people. We Are Coming Home is the story of the efforts that culminated in this repatriation—efforts, above all, of the Blackfoot themselves but also of the Glenbow Museum, which a empted to intercede with the provincial government. The Glenbow had taken its first tentative steps toward repatriation in 1990 […]. That same year saw the arrival of Gerald Conaty as the Glenbow’s senior curator of ethnology. Hired with a mandate to improve the museum’s relationship with Aboriginal communities, Conaty was given the freedom to choose his methods, a freedom he exercised by listening to members of these communities and absorbing what he heard. He, as well as others at the Glenbow, came to understand why the repatriation of sacred bundles was of such vital importance to the Blackfoot. The Glenbow’s support of repatriation drew harsh criticism, however, from senior members of the provincial government […]. This book accordingly opens a window onto the lengthy and complex process of negotiation in which those pursuing repatriation must often engage.


Gerald T. Conaty, editor

Gerald T. Conaty was the director of Indigenous studies at the Glenbow Museum. He leaves as his legacy more than thirty articles and books, including Powerful Images: Portrayals of Native America, co-authored with Sarah E. Boehme. In 2003, he was inducted into the Kainai Chieftainship and given the name Sikapiistamix (Grey Bull).


  • A fascinating view into the practice of returning sacred materials from large institutions to their communities of origin. […] "We Are Coming Home" is a story of hope and perhaps an ideal that all of us should strive for – true reconciliation. - James Daschuck, author of Clearing the Plains
  • A narrative of hope and perseverance by individuals, organizations, and communities. […] It speaks to the benefits of respectful listening and collaboration in furthering cross-cultural understanding, building cross-cultural relationships, and fostering reconciliation. - Dr. Laurie A. Milne, The Canadian Journal of Native Studies
  • It is a remarkable contribution to repatriation literature, particularly in its collaborative authorship as well as its valuing of and commitment to personal storytelling and honesty. It represents a history the authors felt needed to be documented for their own communities and in service of future repatriation claims, and their evidence is compelling. - Jen Shannon, Plains Anthropologist

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Athabasca University Press

email: kathyk@athabascau.ca

website: www.aupress.ca

rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 311

publication date: 03/15/2015

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book

Additional Materials: Radio Interview: Daybreak Alberta