This project brings together UK-based researchers with Blackfoot people in Alberta, Canada, and Montana, USA, to explore the cultural history and contemporary meanings of 5 Blackfoot men's shirts held in the collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Collected in 1841, the hide shirts are decorated with porcupine quillwork and beadwork; three, with human- and horse-hair fringes along the sleeves, are ritual garments. There are just two shirts of this age in Canadian museums, and Blackfoot people have had little access to them. However, some cultural knowledge relating to them has been retained, and elders wish to revive traditional practices associated with them. Blackfoot leaders have spoken of the shirts as important for youth and hope that learning about them will strengthen cultural identity: in the words of Frank Weasel Head, Kainai ceremonial leader, 'These shirts are our curriculum. That's how we learn who we are.'\n\nThe project will make the shirts available to Blackfoot people and the wider public for the first time, and explore how historic artefacts can be used by indigenous communities to revive, share and transmit cultural knowledge, and how they serve to anchor social memory and in the construction of identity. It will consider how the transmission of cultural knowledge can benefit different generations, and explore the implications of such knowledge for museum practice.\n\nThrough the exhibition of these shirts at Glenbow and Galt Museums in Alberta, and through handling workshops for Blackfoot people (including elders, artists, and youth), we hope to show how close examination of the shirts can allow for the retrieval, consolidation, and transmission of cultural knowledge embodied in such artefacts. Elders hope that access to the shirts will be a catalyst for reviving the knowledge of the making and uses of them: 'the Elders left us messages, it's up to us to understand them' (Narcisse Blood, Kainai).The exhibitions, an integral part of the research process, will provide an opportunity for discussions amongst Blackfoot community members, helping to raise fragments of memories which will then surface more readily in workshops. Information surfacing within each workshop, eg. relating to the manufacture/use of the shirts, will be recorded and shared with subsequent workshop participants in order to facilitate the exchange and transmission of knowledge. Workshops will be developed by the project team in collaboration with ceremonial leaders and educators from the four Blackfoot nations. An innovation in international museum access, they will be facilitated by a conservator (PRM staff member Heather Richardson, a specialist on First Nations material) and a Project Facilitator (Beth Carter, a Glenbow curator with extensive experience working with Blackfoot people), and will involve Blackfoot seamstresses, elders, ceremonial leaders, and youth. Curators Peers (Pitt Rivers Museum), Conaty and Carter (Glenbow), Aitkens (Galt Museum) together with Brown (Aberdeen), will observe and assist the workshops.\n\nThe project builds on previous AHRB-funded research carried out by Brown and Peers which explored how historic photographs of ancestors were culturally interpreted by Blackfoot people (Brown, Peers et al 2006). Based on relationships developed then and in Brown's D.Phil. research (1997-2000), and on specific community consultations regarding the shirts (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), this proposal responds to repeated requests by Blackfoot ceremonial leaders, Elders and educators, who wish to study these artefacts to aid in cultural revitalization. The Glenbow and Galt Museums are offering considerable in-kind support including exhibition and workshop space. Outcomes will include an illustrated book with research findings, refereed articles, and a conference to bring together UK museum professionals with Blackfoot people to explore perspectives on such early collections.