Malissa Minthorn-Winks

OMSI visited Tamástslikt yesterday.  They have such staff people as evaluation specialists, exhibit designers, curators and managers of all stripes.  OMSI won a grant from the National Science Foundation for a multi-year project to develop an exhibit about Traditional Ecological Knowledge–how traditional knowledge and western science can intersect.  It will be called “Generations of Knowledge”.  Put it on your calendar to view at Tamástslikt in 2015. 

Malissa Minthorn-Winks, Archives and Collections Manager, gave the group a tour.  Malissa remarked, “American Indians are the only race that are demanded to prove their racial identity.  Anybody else can say ‘I am X’ and they won’t be challenged to prove themselves by blood quantum.”   She went on, paraphrasing, that Tamástslikt must deal with the insistence of the public that American Indian identity is frozen at some point in the far distant past.  The public seems to refuse to acknowledge American Indian identity as it has changed since then.  Hence, the question, “Do you still live in tipis?”

When she arrived at the Whitman Mission exhibit, Malissa asked the group, “Have you ever noticed that when the Indians killed the whites, it was a massacre? And when the whites killed the Indians, it was a battle?”

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