Sunny Nash Researches Indigenous Knowledge

At the California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, Sunny Nash sharpened her museum skills in a professional training program that provides executive development useful to journalists, archivists and scholars exploring worldwide indigenous knowledge.
By: KSUN Media & News
 
 
Sunny Nash, Author-Journalist
Sunny Nash, Author-Journalist
 
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LOS ANGELES - May 6, 2019 - PRLog -- Protecting Our Legacies is an educational program provided by the California Indian Museum & Cultural Center (CIMCC) in Santa Rosa, California.

CIMCC was founded in 1996 to educate the public through exhibitions about history, culture and contemporary life of California Indians, and to honor their contributions to civilization, including forestry, textiles, agronomy, hydrology, meteorology, art, folklore, environmental protection, natural resource management, renewable energy, and other cultural knowledge protected from infringement, exploitation and theft under International Intellectual Property (IP) Treaties and national IP laws.

Author and former syndicated newspaper columnist and broadcast journalist, Nash covers news and human interest in a variety of communities nationwide. California Senate honored Nash in 2017 for Cultural Heritage and Women's Rights Programs she presented to the Khmer Community. In 2017, she participated in an Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage program. In 2017, she was certified to teach WWII Japanese American Incarceration. In 2014, she won the Ottis Lock Award & Cultural Research Grant for an African American exhibition at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum. Nash received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Award in 2013 to moderate NEH Created Equal. Nash joined Henry Louis Gates in the Harvard African American National Biography, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press. Trained in archival preservation and digital curation at the University of London, Nash works with public and private organizations and individuals to preserve legacies.

Global indigenous movements toward territorial, resource, traditional knowledge and asset protection--affecting livelihood and culture--emerged with the 2007 adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Movements are also Human Rights Movements that involve International Treaties and ownership of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions (TKCE). Nash studied Human Rights, Knowledge Management and International Law through the United Nations. In programs at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy in Geneva, Switzerland, she studied indigenous TKCE rights, General IP Law, and International Software Licensing that acquainted her with proprietary and open source tools for preserving, digitizing, managing and sharing cultural heritage, with emphasis on indigenous knowledge in developing nations. Nash complemented these academic credentials with diplomatic training at the United States Institute of Peace.

"International frameworks allow indigenous communities on every continent and island in the world to protect ancestral knowledge, advance economic conditions, vocalize their rights against poachers, and save the Earth for their future generations," said Nash, 2018 Honors Graduate of the London School of Journalism in Media Law (https://sunnynashpressroom.wordpress.com/sunny-nash-award...).

Protecting Our Legacies: Liaison Skills for Tribal Museum Professionals

"CIMCC's framework for Protecting Our Legacies correlates with my 2016 Archaeology Interpretation training at the U.S. Department of the Interior," Nash said. "Interpreting the present is difficult enough without the 24-7 onslaught of social media speculation and sometimes downright fabrication. For me, understanding the past contextualizes the present. Indigenous and non-indigenous generational knowledge can help fill the gaps in recorded history and should be cherished and protected."

Like many indigenous communities worldwide, California Indians may not control their most valuable tribal resources, subjecting them to mishandling without viable preservation plans. According to CIMCC, historical artifacts are sometimes not accurately identified, and traditions surrounding objects are not always properly represented. CIMCC's Protecting Our Legacies addresses these issues by increasing California tribal museum personnel's professional consultation and coordination expertise as cultural advocates and government liaisons. Cultural sensitivity training teaches communication skills that promote respect for cultural perspectives when collecting, creating and loaning artifacts and exhibitions for use by non-indigenous groups and the general public.

FEMA-Certified in both Building Partnerships with Tribal Governments, and Religious and Cultural Literacy, Nash also regularly participates in seminars sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C. on Native American and Alaska Native resource holdings, bringing Native American studies into non-Native American classrooms, Indian Treaties, Removing People, and Native American Voices.

"Much of what I know about my world came to me through folklore, transferred through stories and customs," Nash said. "And we must realize that our indigenous as well as non-indigenous generational knowledge may one day be crucial to the survival of our planet and to humankind."

Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-89096-716-4) about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement. The book is a selection of the American Association of University Presses as a Book for Understanding U.S. Race Relations, and is recommended by the Miami-Dade (Florida) Public Library System for Native American Collections.
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