The UNM University Libraries Indigenous Nations Library Program is starting a conversation about the importance of museums on Native American lands.

Native people have long had tenuous and at times contentious relationships with museums. From historic anthropologists operating under the salvage paradigm to more recent disputes over the sale of sacred items, Native people have had little voice in the disposition of their own cultural artifacts. However, in the last several years, there has been a movement to include the indigenous perspective in museums, provide Native communities access to collections and create more opportunities for Native people to work in cultural institutions.

The University Libraries Indigenous Nations Library Program is hosting a talk titled “The Future of Museums in Indian Country: The Native Voice and Why it Matters," presented by Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke) on Tuesday, Mar. 7 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Frank Waters Room 105 in Zimmerman Library.

Learn the best ways to become part of this new movement as Sanders presents ways individuals and communities can establish relationships with museums, how to use collections to create programs and cultural renewal and how to pursue a career in museology.

Nina Sanders
Nina Sanders

Nina Sanders is an educator, writer, artist and museum professional. She recently completed identifying and writing descriptions for hundreds of historic Crow photographs from the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) archives, bringing the Apsáalooke perspective to the project. The NMAI William Wildschut photograph collection is available to the public on the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archive website.

Sanders also does consultation work for her tribe, moonlights as a beadwork artist and writes about her experience as a child growing up on the banks of the Little Big Horn River. She has written for the Smithsonian Magazine online, the Smithsonian’s Collections blog and First American Art Magazine. Nina is currently completing a nine-month internship at the School for Advanced Research Indian Art Resource Center in Santa Fe, NM.