Museum Studies

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Native American Museum Studies Institute


The Native American Museum Studies Institute helps to increase the capacity of tribal community members to repatriate, conserve, and revitalize tribal cultural heritage, foster tribal representations and partnerships, and educate tribal and non-tribal communities through museum development exhibits.



Please check back early in 2023 for details on NAMSI 2023!



(Right: 2018 Advanced NAMSI participants after touring parts of UC Berkeley's North American Collections.)






A Professional Development Opportunity for Tribal Museum Professionals

Sponsored By:

  • Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, UC Berkeley
  • California Indian Museum and Cultural Center
  • Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley




Watch a brief video about 2017 NAMSI here (courtesy of 2017 NAMSI participant Sabine Talaugon, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Founder and Consultant, Iwex Consulting; Volunteer, Guadalupe Cultural Arts and Education Center)


Topics in the intensive four-day workshop vary each year, but generally include:

• Collections Management and Cataloging 
• Conservation/Collections Care 
• Curation and Exhibit Design 
• Managing and Sharing Digital Cultural Heritage Using an Open Source Platform (Mukurtu and TK Labels)   
• Educational Programming for Children and Youth
• Repatriation and NAGPRA 
• Museum Development, Management and Fundraising 
• Cultural Sensitivity and the Movement to Decolonize Museums

Participants will also be invited to share a presentation about their work and tribal museum/cultural center.

Eligibility and Application 

  • Priority will be given to those already working or volunteering with a tribe’s collection in a museum or in another tribal cultural preservation project 
  • Those planning a museum or other cultural preservation project may also apply and may be accepted depending upon availability 

NOTE: Please check this website early in 2023 for information about next year's workshop. 

Review of applications will be conducted on a rolling basis and applicants will be notifiied within three weeks of receiving their application. To ensure there is space available for you, we recommend you apply as soon as possible. 


• The training is tuition free to the participants

• A non-refundable $50 fee covers lunch and materials.

• Participants will be responsible for their other meals, lodging, and travel expenses, Participants will also be responsible for making their own travel and hotel arrangements, but since space is limited, please do not make any non-refundable reservations until you are notified that you are accepted into the program. The Graduate Hotel is the closest hotel to the workshop site (one block). The Bancroft Hotel is also nearby (two blocks) and slightly less expensive but with smaller rooms.  Another option is the Berkeley City Club Hotel, which is about four blocks from the Institute. A more economical option is the YMCA. It is a longer walk—about 30 minutes, but it is on a bus route that comes within one block of the Institute. Other options may be found here: Many reasonably priced restaurants are within a short walk of campus.

• Partial travel stipends may be available in case of financial need.


"I found this experience so enriching! Working with such great resources was amazing; I think NAGPRA training was so important. Learning about other collections and skills (CSpace, TK labels, and Mukurtu) was all new information. I look forward to implementing that knowledge." - Past NAMSI participant

"Networking with peers; making long-term connections. Agenda items presented by Native people. Good exposure to and problem-solving of museum issues." - Past NAMSI participant's response to program evaluation question: What did you find to be the most valuable aspects of the institute? 


Read Berkeley News article about the 2012 institute here.


For more information contact | 510.642.0813

Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issue
The Myers Center is part of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues 
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.642.0813
FAX: 510.642.8674


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