Museums are powerful places, entrusted with the capacity not only to educate (or miseducate) people of all ages, but within the context of exhibit design and execution, museums can shape the way people think, feel and operate in the world. Since founding Live Oak Consulting in 2018, Live Oak Principal Dr. Deana Dartt has been instrumental in addressing systems of inequity in institutions nationwide.
In 2020 Live Oak Consulting began to expand its offerings to share the Principles of Applied Decolonization with a variety of participants, including Environmental Stewardship organizations, Municipalities, consortiums of Health providers and educational institutions near and far. As many of these institutions reckon with the inequities in their current programming and problematic pasts, Live Oak is there to help disrupt dominant thinking, allowing for critical conversation to shape the future.
And in 2023, the American Association of Museums, under Dr. Dartt’s project management, will release its Standards for Museums with Native American Collections (SMNAC), a “comprehensive document for use by museums with Native collections for the purpose of clarifying their roles as stewards and ultimately to improve the museum field as it relates to Native American peoples, communities, and cultural items. SMNAC meets the need for a shared set of standards and benchmarks that guide all facets of operation in museums charged with stewarding Native cultural belongings.
Through the Decolonization 101 Training and the Standards of Excellence, Dr. Dartt and her colleagues are able to introduce groups to the concepts and collaboration necessary to develop culturally responsive processes, policies and procedures.