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Meet the Local Contexts Team

James Francis, Sr.

Co-Director, Local Contexts

Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Historian and is studying the relationship between Maine Native Americans and the Landscape. Prior to working at the Penobscot Nation James worked for the Wabanaki Studies Commission helping implement the new Maine Native American Studies Law into Maine schools and has managed a team of teachers and cultural experts in developing curriculum.

James co-produced a film on race relations in Maine. Invisible looks at the problem of racism as it pertains to Native American people in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. Recently James conducted an extensive Oral History Project for the Penobscot Nation. This project brought to life historical pictures and highlighted a community history that cannot be found it books. He was the curator of Penobscot History in Bangor Maine, an exhibit for the Bangor Museum and Center for History, and more recently the guest curator of Aunt Lu: the Story of Princess Watahwaso an exhibit at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. James has also a co-curator for exhibits at the Bangor Center for History, Hudson Museum and Harvard University.

James is an accomplished historical researcher, photographer, filmmaker, and graphics artist. Mr. Francis serves on the Board of Directors for Four Directions Development Corporation, a Native American Community Development Financial Institution. James serves on the Native American Advisory Committee for the Abbe Museum and the Native American Advisory Board for the Boston Children’s Museum and is a lifetime member of the Maine Historical Society.  He has served on the Advisory Board of the University of Maine’s Hudson Museum in Orono, Maine, Board of Directors for the Bangor Museum and Center for History where he served as Chair of the Collections committee. James has also served as Chair of the Penobscot Nation’s Cultural and Historic Preservation Committee. Recently James has returned to school to pursue a Intermedia Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Maine.