Scott Marsden

Curator, Museum Collections; Prince of Whales Northern Heritage Centre

Preferred name: Scott Marsden

Highest degree: Doctor of Philosophy, (Ph.D.) Department of Curriculum and Instruction,
                              Faculty of Education, Art Education

Position title: Curator, Museum Collections

Home organization: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Preferred email:

Research statement:

My research will explore a collaborative process in working with Indigenous and settler communities using participatory action research. This research will investigate multiple ways of knowing that empower once nearly silenced voices, challenge dominant narratives, welcome First Nations, and community scholarly voices. Collaborative practice is the new “norm” for many museums work with First Nations and at the same time exploring potential mutual strategic interests and new directions. My research will explore how the integration of collections and exhibitions with indigenous voices first and how reconciling indigenous voices to traditional settler voices is a critical component of contemporary museum practice. This research will focus on building capacity and collaborating with museum partners in the development of programming that represents indigenous perspectives and world views. The research proposes to work with NWT indigenous partners to re-create the museum space where the rich and diverse stories of NWT Indigenous communities are preserved and told for people of today and for future generations.  This research will also investigate diverse discourses found in collections and how this can lead to alternate ways of knowing and a “transformation” of our understanding of communities in the NWT.

Description of Research Program:

Proposed Research-Commemorate the History and Legacy of Residential Schools in NWT through the Collections Program at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

This research will include developing community-based programming that makes links to community, situating the direction of local community engagement and developing partnerships between community and cultural institutions. Community-based practices focuses on re-defined community engagement and exploring collaborative forms of critical inquiry. 

Working with City of Yellowknife and Yellowknife Dene First Nation to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools. This project proposes, in part, to facilitate a series of mapping and story-gathering workshops utilizing heritage and cultural assets available in the collections and archives at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC). Information from these workshops may provide valuable insights and content for the project’s plan to develop moveable cultural assets and a commemorative installation. This project will increase awareness in Yellowknife and commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools and honour residential school survivors, their families, and communities. The project will develop community-based gained from the mapping and workshops to develop a commemorative exhibition/installation utilizing moveable cultural assets from the Collection and other sources. This project will also investigate the issue of settler privilege and what institutional structures that reflect settler privilege-legitimating norms and practices within an NWT context.


Scientific Contributions:

Scott Marsden (2018) RACAR, what is critical crating? University Art Association of Canada

Scott Marsden (2017) Article An insurgent curatorial strategy using dialogue and collaboration to create meaning in public art galleries and museums, International Journal of Lifelong Education, Taylor & Francis, London, UK

Scott Marsden (2014) Experiments in Visual Art, Alternative History and Community Collaboration, Canadian Review of Art Education, June Issue

Scott Marsden (2012) Man Turned to Stone: T’xwelátse, The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, BC

Scott Marsden (2012) Catalogue essay, Open Conversations-The Art Practice of Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC

Scott Marsden (2010) “Talk about Careers in Science,” New Directions in Mathematics and Science Education, Sense Publishers, Volume 20