Thursday, May 12, 2016

ATALM Survey: Audio-Visual Preservation Needs of Tribal Media Makers and Media Holders

Please join Vision Maker Media and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums in a national study of the audio-visual preservation needs of tribal media makers and media holders.

Recorded documentation of tribal history and culture is being lost due to the unstable nature of media formats and lack of documentation. With funding from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, VMM and ATALM are surveying media holders and media makers to determine collection care and management needs. Survey results will help formulate an action plan to provide training and funding assistance.
Your help is needed to ensure that holders of tribal media participate. Tribal repositories, non-tribal repositories with tribal-related holdings, and media makers should complete the survey.

Survey results will be reported at the 2016 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums in Phoenix, AZ. 

The 10-minute survey will be open through June 15, 2016. To complete it, click here or visit

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Survey about a 2017 Council for Museum Anthropology conference (due MAY 15)

The CMA Board is seeking your input for a Council for Museum Anthropology conference in 2017. We politely request that you complete the survey by Sunday May 15 so that we may receive your feedback in time to use the survey results in grant writing and venue planning.

The survey can be accessed here or through this link:

Please don't hesitate to contact any one of us with questions.

Thank you!

CMA Board Inaugural Conference Committee

Erica Lehrer, Canada Research Chair in Museum & Heritage Studies, Concordia University

Josh Bell, Curator of Globalization, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

John Lukavic, Associate Curator of Native Arts, Denver Art Museum

Jen Shannon, Curator & Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado - Boulder

Monday, May 02, 2016

It’s official: Kennewick Man is Native American

The Seattle Times
April 27, 2016

Five tribes claiming Kennewick Man as a relative will work together to rebury him after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday it has validated the skeleton is Native American.

Scientists at the University of Chicago this month documented they were able to independently validate last summer’s scientific findings as to the skeleton’s ancestry by at least three lines of evidence, said John Novembre, associate professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, who led the review.

The validation was part of a federal process to allow repatriation of the skeleton. The team’s finding clears the way for the next steps, in which potential claimants of the remains must document their cultural connection to the Ancient One, as tribes refer to the skeleton.

Kennewick Man is one of the oldest and most complete skeletons discovered in North America, dating back nearly 9,000 years. Debate has continued since the 1996 discovery as to whether the remains should continue to be studied by scientists, or reburied, as tribes have long wished.

More here

Friday, April 29, 2016

Position Announcement: Preparator/Exhibitions Coordinator, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)

Summary of Responsibilities 
Under the direction of the MoCNA’s Curatorial team the Preparator/Exhibitions Coordinator will be involved in all aspects in the development, care and presentation of the MoCNA’s programs and exhibitions in the area of exhibition coordination, fabrication and installation. Duties include the processing of all loans for MoCNA’S produced exhibitions including traveling exhibitions and permanent collection. The incumbent will also be responsible with coordinating all shipping arrangements for incoming/outgoing loans, installation, correspondence with artists, collectors and institutions, and completing/coordinating special projects for the curatorial team, while supporting the mission, vision and core values of IAIA.

Essential Functions 
Prepare and install museum exhibitions, which may include but are not limited to:
 Lead the installation of exhibitions.
 Correspond with artists, collectors and/or institutions for loans and for shipping arrangements.
 Provide direct oversight in the handling, packing, movement, and inspection of all objects entering or leaving establishment, excluding MoCNA’s permanent collections.
 Provide information for special installation instructions for all artworks including 2-D, new media, sculpture, and installations.
 Prepare exhibition loan agreements with artists, collectors and/or institutions, which are in compliance with internal procedures or protocol.
 Conduct condition reports for all exhibitions except for the permanent collection.
 Ensure compliance with established insurance regulations and/or protocol in the movement, packing, and shipping of borrowed objects
 As needed, identify and engage outside vendors for rigging, packing, crating, and shipping.
 Serve as project lead for special initiatives/exhibitions by curatorial team.
 Construction of pedestals, cabinets, cases as needed.
 Build temporary walls for exhibitions
 Transport artwork
 Attend meetings at museum, campus and other locations.
 Provide information to other departments, as needed.
 Maintain workspace for incoming/outgoing loans
 Manage inventory of equipment, including pedestals and other materials for museum display, exhibition hardware and packing material
 Consulting/collaborating with other personnel to develop and initiate most practical methods of packing and shipping fragile or valuable objects.
 Functions as courier or designate courier for loans.
 Assist with the set-up of A.V. equipment for art installations, including power amps, digital video projectors, and different computer platforms (Mac and PC).
 Other duties as assigned.

Required Experience 
Must have BFA or BA in Museum Studies or related field, or five (5) years of direct/hands-on museum experience working with temporary exhibitions, loans, and maintenance and storage of collections. Must also have experience with scheduling and supervising packing, shipping, condition reporting and object movement. Must have knowledge of current legal and ethical standards of transactions with art museums. Must have a current/valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Must have a satisfactory background/criminal.

Preferred Experience: M.A. in a related field, including experience working on exhibitions of contemporary art and/or gallery installations.

Required Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities  
 Current and demonstrated knowledge of the techniques used in museum exhibition management and preparation.
 Current and demonstrated knowledge of art exhibitions, loans, maintenance and storage of art collections.
 Current and demonstrated knowledge in the packing/shipping and inspection of art objects.
 Proven ability to work independently and under close supervision, or as assigned, and to bring projects to completion in a timely manner.
 Highly effective verbal, listening and written communications skills with the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with all levels and with all people and groups, in order to clearly and effectively exchange and provide information.
 Ability to maintain effective working relationships internally and externally, which includes demonstrating a pleasant, courteous and professional demeanor and presence at all times.
 Knowledge of different computer platforms including new media.

The candidate must have proficient knowledge in the following areas:
 Effective organizational skills, in order to complete assignment and/or projects as required.
 Highly collaborative, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, in order to quickly, professional and effectively resolve a wide-range of issues/problems.
 Strong analytical and decision making skills in order to oversee the key functions of accession, de-accession, registration and the handling/packing/movement and/or inspection of art objects.

Adhere to appropriate professional standards of conduct and ethics, including but limited to:
 Confidentiality
 integrity and honesty
 follow directives
 exhibit ability to adapt to changing work environments
 cooperates and works respectfully with others
 participate in pro-active problem solving
 attend to assigned job duties
 and participate in meetings as required
 Ability and willingness to perform other work-related duties as assigned.
 Must have a current/valid and clean driving record in order to be bondable to use IAIA fleet vehicles.
 Must have a satisfactory background/criminal background in order to be bondable in handling 

Preferred Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities 
 Demonstrated interest and/or ability to work in collaboration with Native artists and communities to create long-term, meaningful relationships.

Working Conditions 
 Ability to physically move, carry and/or maneuver objects weighing up to 50lbs.
 Ability to reach and retrieve over-head objects weighing up to 25lbs.
 Ability to bend or stoop.
 Ability to work in a dusty and noisy environment.
 Ability and skill to provide basic to complex information, verbal or written related to the performance of essential functions.
 Occasional local and out-of-town travel for meetings and conferences (personal vehicle or company vehicle).
 This job description does not list all the duties of the job.
 Management has the right to revise this job description at any time.
 The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the candidate(s) of this job.
 The essential functions are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required of the position.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Position Announcement: Assistant Curator of Native American Art, The Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is currently accepting resumes/applications for the position of Assistant Curator of Native American Art in our Curatorial department. This full-time, exempt position will work closely with the Curator of Contemporary Art and the Curator of Native American Art, History and Culture in the preparation and presentation of permanent and changing Native American exhibits, as well as the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship Celebration.

Requirements and qualifications include an MA in art, anthropology, public history, museum studies or an MFA. It is imperative that the ideal candidate have a knowledge and appreciation of Native North American art including contemporary, traditional and historic materials and a working knowledge of Native American history and culture, and art history.

Other administrative duties will include research, exhibit scripting, contracting, accounting and record keeping which would require a meticulous attention to detail, excellent writing, verbal and editing skills. A sound knowledge of TMS (The Museum System) database would be a plus.

All resumes, references, and salary expectations should be sent to:
Fax: (317) 275-1430
Mail:      Eiteljorg Museum, HR Manager
              500 W Washington St
              Indianapolis, IN 46204

Job Description

JOB TITLE:                                     Assistant Curator of Native American Art
DEPARTMENT:                              Curatorial
STATUS:                                         Exempt
REPORTING RELATIONSHIP:      Curator of Contemporary Art, Curator of Native American Art,History and Culture

  • Art, history, museum studies MA or MFA one year experience in a museum, gallery or educational setting, and knowledge of Native North American art including contemporary to traditional and historic materials. Working knowledge of Native American history and culture, and art history
  • Meticulous administration skills, as well as computer, interpersonal and office skills
  • Excellent writing, editing and research skills
  • Ability to work independently and in a team contributing to a positive working environment and cooperative atmosphere with co-workers
Major Responsibilities: 
  1. Works in collaboration with the curator of contemporary art and curator of Native American art, history and culture with the preparation and presentation of exhibitions and department management, including; research, label and text writing and administrative duties such as contracting, accounting and record keeping.
  2. Presents and manages permanent and changing exhibitions of traditional, historical and contemporary Native Art.
  3. Works within collections data base to update and add object and art information.
  4. Works with the curator of contemporary art on the selection of Eiteljorg Fellows, catalog editing and manages the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship Celebration.
  5. Works with the curator of Native Art, History and Culture in selection and verification artists, artists judging and works to be considered for purchase prize award for yearly Indian Market.
  6. Works to strategically develop contemporary and Native American collections by serving as a member of the museum’s acquisitions committee, participating in board based collections council activities, and contributing to the maintenance and development of collecting strategies.
  7. Provides assistance in coordinating and development of the Native American Advisory Council.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Digital Native American and Indigenous Studies Workshops

The Digital Native American Studies Project proposes to offer three three-day workshops that will educate participants on issues of digital humanities research and methodology in the context of Native American Studies. Native American Studies, an interdisciplinary field of study exploring the history, culture, politics, issues, and contemporary experience of indigenous peoples of America, intersects with a number of issues related to access, preservation, and methodology that are problematized through the development and deployment of digital tools and methods and the conduct of digital research. These workshops seek to pay attention to the ways in which digital objects, practices, and methods function within Native communities and through Native American Studies scholarship.

Where and When
Our tentative schedule is as follows:
Workshop 1: June 29 - July 1, 2016 at Yale University, New Haven, CT.  Deadline for applications for workshop 1 is May 10, 2015.
Workshop 2: Fall 2016, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Workshop 3:  Spring 2017, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Who should apply?
DNAIS seeks to support the broad community engaged in Native American studies, a community that includes:
  • Tribal Community members working with issues around digital research, preservation, and access
  • Academics from the disciplines of anthropology, archeology, philosophy, history, literature, new media, & museum studies
  • Librarians
  • Information scientists
  • Cultural Heritage professionals from Galleries, Archives, and Museums
Interested parties should apply to the workshop making sure to note the following content concentrations:
  • Workshop one, hosted by the Yale Indian Papers, will focus on issues of access, preservation, and methodology related to the use of digitized cultural heritage materials in the context of tribal communities and cultures from the territories east of the Mississippi River.
  • Workshop two, hosted by Northern Arizona University, will focus on issues of access, preservation, and methodology related to the use of digitized cultural heritage materials in the context of tribal communities and cultures located west of the Mississippi River. 
  • Workshop three, hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will focus on issues of pedagogy and the application of Digital Native Studies research and method in the undergraduate, graduate, and extracurricular classrooms regardless of geographical context. 
Limited funding will be available to offset the cost of attending the institute workshops, thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This funding will be awarded based on need. Subvention of travel and lodging costs will be handled pre-payment of flights and hotels. Parking, rail and car travel costs will be handled via reimbursement.

DNAIS is led by Jennifer Guiliano, Charmayne “Charli” Champion-Shaw, Holly Cusack-McVeigh, Larry Zimmerman, and Mary Cox (IUPUI), in consultations with Carrie Heitman (University of Nebraska Lincoln), Siobhan Senier (University of New Hampshire), and Joshua J. Wells (Indiana University South Bend).

We are proudly joined by supporters and confirmed presenters: Michael Ashley and Kim Christen-Withey (Murkutu Project), James Eric Frances (Tribal Historian and Director for the Penobscot Nation Cultural and Historic Preservation Department), Paul Grant-Costa (Yale Indian Papers Project), Kelley Hayes-Gilpin (Curator, Museum of Northern Arizona), Donald Soctomah (Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Passamaquoddy Tribe), and Loren M. Spears (Executive Director, Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum).

Monday, April 18, 2016

Denver Art Museum Awareded $2.25 million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant to Endow Native Arts Curator and Curatorial Fellowship

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced today a $2.25 million grant was awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will endow the Native Arts Curator leadership position and support an American Indian arts curatorial fellowship in the native arts department. These new funds will enable the department to expand on forward-thinking initiatives already underway, including the focus on artist-centric presentations and close collaborations with contemporary American Indian artists.

The curatorial position challenge grant will be matched one-to-one within three years to establish a $4 million endowment to support the DAM’s lead, full-time Curator of Native Arts, a position currently held by Nancy Blomberg. In addition to the endowed position, the grant will also provide $250,000 in seed funds for an American Indian arts curatorial fellowship, focused on providing close mentorship and high-level experience.

This post-doctoral curatorial fellowship is the first of its kind offered by the Mellon Foundation at the DAM. It will provide opportunities and resources to develop experience, with the goal of influencing the success of the next generation of curators in the American Indian art field. Conceived in collaboration with the Mellon Foundation, the post-doctoral position emphasizes the skills and strategies fellows will require to be successful at a major art museum, including advanced-level training, exhibition development, research and scholarly publication production. Fellows also will gain experience with planning programs such as the Native Arts Artist-in-Residence program and the DAM’s annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration. An international call for qualified candidates will begin the process of filling this exciting new role.

“The museum is renowned for its progressive efforts in collecting American Indian art, and these new grants will allow the museum to continue to be a leader in the field,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Our staff is devoted to exploring, presenting and preserving American Indian works, making this new endowment and fellowship crucial to continuing the museum’s legacy.”

Since 1925, the DAM has been credited with being one of the first major art museums to collect American Indian art. The collection the native arts department manages contains nearly 20,000 art objects from tribes across the United States and Canada and is composed of artworks by the indigenous peoples of North America, Africa and Oceania.

“It is a great honor and privilege to have the Curator of Native Arts position bear the name of Andrew W. Mellon,” said Blomberg. “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is one of the most prestigious foundations in the world, and their recognition and support for the work we do at the Denver Art Museum will enable us to grow in new ways. To have the position fully endowed in perpetuity guarantees that meaningful work in celebration of native arts and artists will continue.”
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was founded in 1969. The Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. To date, this is the fourth position the foundation has endowed at the DAM.

Those interested in the fellowship, as well as additional details on application submission, should visit the jobs page on the DAM website at
Media Resources
The Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Reminder: IMLS Grants for The 2016 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums

To maximize training opportunities for people engaged in sustaining and advancing indigenous culture, the Institute of Museum and Library Services is providing up to $75,000 in scholarship funding for eligible applicants to attend the 2016 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums at the Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ (Gila River Indian Community). Pre-conference workshops take place on Monday, October 10 and conference sessions are scheduled Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday October 12.

Click here to access the Scholarship Application.

Eligible candidates include:
  • Staff members of tribal archives, libraries, museums, historic preservation offices, and language programs.
  • Staff members of non-tribal cultural institutions who are tribally enrolled, or working directly with Native collections.
  • Students enrolled in college-level library, museum, or archival programs.
There are three levels of awards:
  • $300 for registration fee waiver
  • $534 for registration fee waiver and three nights shared lodging
  • $784 for registration fee waiver, three nights shared lodging, and a $250 travel stipend. Travel stipends are rarely rewarded and applicants should anticipate covering their own travel.
If awarded a scholarship, recipients are expected to volunteer at the conference, commit to attending a minimum of seven concurrent sessions and write a brief impact report.

If you cannot complete the application once you start it, you have the option to save your information and resume later. If you choose this option, you will receive a unique link that will enable you to access your application at anytime within the next 30 days to resume answering questions. Without the link, the data you have entered cannot be retrieved and you will have to start filling out the form at the beginning.ATALM will not receive information until you click the "submit" button. You will receive a copy of the information you submitted in an email confirming receipt of your application.

Please note that these scholarships are not intended to cover the full cost of attending the conference and successful applicants will be expected to make a contribution to their own expenses. Questions? Please email

Key Links for ATALM 2016 (October 10-12, 2016)
ATALM is an international non-profit organization that maintains a network of support for indigenous programs, provides culturally relevant programming and services, encourages collaboration among tribal and non-tribal cultural institutions, and articulates contemporary issues related to developing and sustaining the cultural sovereignty of Native Nations.