Indigenous Resources Collaborative
The Four Grandmothers Indigenous Resources Collaborative (IRC) is a group of museum and education professionals--Joan Avant (Mashpee Wampanoag), Judy Battat, Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag), and Joan Lester--who have worked together for over four decades to increase understanding and awareness of Native people in New England, always with an emphasis on continued and contemporary indigenous presence. Individually, and in various combinations through the years, they have caused significant changes in important groups and institutions (museums, universities, the museum field, professional development for educators), developing Indigenous perspectives and knowledge as the foundation for the teaching and interpretation that took place.
In addition to their own writings and collections, they retain a vast collection of documents from their respectives times working with the Boston Children's Museum and Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Indian Program, two major institutions that significantly reduced or eliminated their Native programming. Linda Coombs convened the IRC to ensure that her and her colleagues' years of work continue to be sustained.
The newly-founded IRC seeks (a) to house and curate this archive and (b) to make these materials available to others who share the goals of properly relating regional Native history, correcting misconceptions and challenging stereotypes. In using the term “collaborative,” the IRC wants to emphasize that this work requires the efforts of both Native and non-Native people.
This exhibit shows just a tiny sampling of the kinds of Native writing included in the IRC archives. For more information, visit their webpage.