Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hopi Tribe and HARP File Lawsuit in France to Stop Future Sales of Sacred Objects

Native News Online, April 12, 2015

The Hopi Tribal Council and the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) filed a lawsuit in France to appeal a recent decision by the French “Conseil des Ventes” (“Board of Auction Sales”), an administrative body in charge of regulating and supervising auction sales on the French market.

The announcement of the lawsuit filing was made jointly by Herman G. Honanie, chairman of the Hopi Tribe and Ori Z. Soltes, of HARP.

Although the Conseil has the administrative power to suspend sales, it refused to suspend a December 15, 2014 auction sale of sacred “kwaa tsi” owned by the Hopi tribe, the Conseil allowed the sale to proceed after a special hearing held in Paris on December 11, 2014, rejecting the arguments put forth by the Hopi Tribe and HARP that title had never vested with subsequent possessors due to the sacred nature of these objects.


The lawsuit papers were filed with the main Civil Court in Paris called the “Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris” to appeal the denial of HARPs’ request for the administrative suspension of the December 15, 2014 auction sale of sacred Hopi objects, also known as “Friends.”

More here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Musuem Anthropology Facebook Page: Musuem Dance Off

Be sure to visit the CMA's Facebook page to stay updated on the "Musuem Dance Off!

Like our page to see more news from the field of museum anthropology right in your newsfeed! 


Friday, April 17, 2015

NAGPRA Grants Awarded to Eight Tribes

The National Park Service today announced the award of eight Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Repatriation grants totaling $74,348. The grants will assist in the repatriation of individuals and sacred objects, objects of cultural patrimony and funerary objects back to the tribes.


“The work funded by these grants is a step toward addressing past violations of the treatment of human remains and sacred objects of native peoples, while restoring the ability of American Indian and Native Hawaiian peoples to be stewards of their own ancestral dead and cultural heritage.” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

FY 2015 NAGPRA Grant Recipients
Native Village of Barrow: AK $14,904
Native Village of Barrow: AK $15,000
The Regents of the University of California: CA $6,309
Smith River Rancheria: CA $14,944
Bay Mills Indian Community: MI $1,937
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan: MI $14,836
The Chickasaw Nation: OK $4,103
Sweet Briar College, Art Collection and Galleries: VA $ 2,315
Total: $74,348

Monday, March 30, 2015

NATHPO Accepting Applications for Power of Preservation

NATHPO is accepting applications for the Power of Preservation in Indian Country leadership seminar to be offered May 31-June 4, 2015, at the National Conservation and Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Power of Preservation Goals:
•       To identify and train current and potential leaders who have the ability to dramatically increase their effectiveness in their communities in their role as tribal preservationists.
•       To empower tribal representatives to achieve preservation successes in their tribal communities.
•       To support a national network of leaders in the tribal historic preservation movement and to provide these leaders with an arsenal of techniques and strategies to engage Native communities and community partners in making thoughtful decisions about what aspects of the past to carry forward into the future.
Enrollment is open to Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and their staff, tribal museum directors and staff, elected tribal officials, and other tribal employees.  Space is limited to only 30 participants.

More information may be found on the NATHPO website under What's New.

Direct link to more information.

Enrollment is open to Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and their staff, tribal museum directors and staff, elected tribal officials, and other tribal employees. Space is limited to only 30 participants.


NATHPO is a not-for-profit membership association of tribal governments that are committed to preserving, rejuvenating, and improving the status of tribal cultures and cultural practices by supporting Native languages, arts, dances, music, oral traditions, cultural properties, tribal museums, tribal cultural centers, and tribal libraries.

Friday, March 20, 2015

MUAN 38.1 "Continued Conversations" Web-Exclusive Content: James Dixon Interview Part 1

In Musuem Anthropology 38.1, co-editors Maxine McBrinn and Tony Chavarria conducted interviews with museum anthropologists working within the university setting. This web-exclusive content adds to their collection of interviews published in the journal. 

This interview is with Dr. James Dixon, Director, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and Professor of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This Part 1 of 2

1. Describe your job.
As director of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and Professor of Anthropology at University of New Mexico (UNM) I provide administrative leadership for the Museum.  I am responsible for the management of all aspects of the Museum’s programs, resources and services including fiscal management and personnel.  In my role as professor I also serve on a variety of academic committees, teach courses, mentor graduate students, conduct research, and publish.

2. How does being associated with a university assist your job and institution?
One of the great benefits of being at a university is interaction with students, particularly graduate students. They are a great asset to the Museum and its programs.  Their enthusiasm and talent improves the quality of what we do.

3. Does being associated with a university add challenges to your job?
Yes, administrating a museum within a state university system is challenging.  University administrators are not familiar with museums.  Many do not understand their relevance to the university mission.  Because they are familiar only with methods that measure success based on classroom instruction and enrollment statistics, it is takes constant effort to educate them to ensure they understand the essential role of museums in institutions of higher education. 

4. How do university students interact with the museum?

The Museum provides unique educational opportunities in terms of experiential learning in both anthropology and museum studies.  Faculty and staff facilitate these learning opportunities and as a result work closely with many students on a daily basis. Museum and non-museum faculty teach formal classes, offer practica, and provide independent study opportunities for a wide variety of students.  Students also interact by participating in museum programs, events, and exhibitions.

Monday, March 09, 2015

MUAN 38.1 "Continued Conversations" Web-Exclusive Content: Jill Minar Interview Part 2

In Musuem Anthropology 38.1, co-editors Maxine McBrinn and Tony Chavarria conducted interviews with museum anthropologists working within the university setting. This web-exclusive content adds to the collection of interviews published in the journal. 

This interview is with Dr. Jill Minar, Instructor of Anthropology/Archaeology in the Anthropology, Economics, and Geography Department, Social Sciences Division at Fresno City College in Fresno, California. This is Part 2 of 2. 

5. Do you think students take full advantage of having museums on campus?  
No.  On our campus most students are not aware of the museums on campus and so do not frequent them.  In trying to resolve this issue, we had a mural painted on the outside of our building space, added two large signs, one on the campus mall side of our building and one on the museum wall.  Since then we have had an increase in the visitors to the museum.  

6. Does the university have a Museum Studies program? If so, how does that influence your answers to the above?
No, we do not have a Museum Studies program.  Fresno City College has tried to have some museum courses (in anthropology and art) as we have several museums/galleries on campus.  The need to have very small class sizes (low interest combined with hands-on instruction) made this impossible in these days of strict budgets.  

7. Do you reach out to students outside the university?
Fresno City College has an active outreach program to the school districts in Fresno and the surrounding communities, working to bring young people from preschool through high school to the college campus.  We are in a community that suffers from high dropout rates in high school, families who have no experience with college education, and high poverty levels.  The goal of the outreach program is to give young people a chance to see what a college is like and to become acquainted with the campus with the hope that they will see a college education as part of their future.  As part of this outreach, various departments on campus provide tours to the visiting students.  The Museum of Anthropology participates in this outreach by providing tours of the museum to visiting school groups throughout the school year.  Currently, given our lack of paid staff and low budget, these school group tours already stretch our ability to meet the need and so no further outreach is done by the museum to the community on a regular basis.  The museum has held open house events, workshops, and tours for special occasions for which we do advertise to the greater Fresno area.  We have been featured in the local paper and had a television program broadcast from the museum in the past few years.

8. What do you see in the future for university associated museums?

In my opinion, there is a very strong and vibrant future for university/college associated museums especially if museums focus on engaging students in the functioning of the museum.  Important connections can be made when students are able see their academic studies in action and where they can actually participate in making that happen. Even given all the administrative headaches, I see that our museum provides something that is lacking in other areas of our campus: it provide a place where students connect with each other and with faculty.  They are engaged in, are connected to and are part of, a community.  According to our campus basic skills faculty, these are important to student success.  On the museum side, having a steady stream of engaged students who want to work or volunteer keeps things lively.  In recent years when budgets were slashed, our student docents pitched in and helped to keep the museum open many more hours than would have been possible otherwise.  They had learned the value of their contribution to our campus community and gave of their time and talents to keep it going.  I expect that these students will carry their passion for museums on into the places where they end up living and working after college – they represent the next generation of museum advocates in our communities. 

Friday, March 06, 2015

Position Announcement: Collections Manager, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Position Summary
Manages and cares for a large, complex archeological and ethnological collection. Collaborates in the development and implementation of collection management policies and procedures; directly manages the acquisition, documentation, preservation and growth of museum collections and associated materials. Updates the specimen-based database, prepares reports, grant proposals and research papers. Supervises curatorial assistants, volunteers and field technicians. Interacts with public, university and professional community through tours, teaching, lectures, presentations, and publishing papers.

This is a benefits eligible position. The University of New Mexico provides a comprehensive package of benefits including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. In addition, UNM offers educational benefits through the tuition remission and dependent education programs.

Minimum Qualifications:
Master's degree; at least 5 years of experience that is directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.

Preferred Qualifications:
-M.A. or Ph.D. in museum studies or anthropology
-Previous museum collections education or training including collection management policies and procedures 


For more information: click here