IMG_0528smom csa 6smom art project
Background + Description
Training Resources


Museums with collections that represent diverse communities are increasingly faced with issues of cultural sensitivity and a need for direction to both fill the void of information relating to these collections as well as connecting those collections with descendent communities in a meaningful way. Consultation with origin communities is a complex and daunting task, and even when willing, oftentimes museums are intimidated by the process of initiating and facilitating these conversations. This three-part training is intended to educate museum staff and volunteers across departments to alleviate fears and misconceptions surrounding cultural collections, provide a venue for discussing the legal and ethical responsibilities of caring for and interpreting such collections and assisting museum staff in making contact with origin communities. In addition to on-site visits, Live Oak will provide support and ongoing guidance through the process of collaborating with Native American community representatives for the purpose of engaging museum collections in a meaningful dialogue with visitors and for the development of true partnerships with Native collaborators.


  • Museum wide training: provides language, skills and background for all departments to conduct business more efficiently and effectively and assists museum to more meaningfully engage with origin communities
  • Executive staff and board members: gain confidence about discussing and implementing legal and ethical responsibilities associated with the collection
  • Development: learn appropriate and powerful language for grant writing and fundraising, including Tribes as a possible partner
  • Education staff and docents: feel confident to interpret collection to the public, have skills to outreach to origin communities for public programs, engage with collection in ways that are responsive and relevant to today’s issues
  • Collections staff: gain confidence and culturally appropriate knowledge for the care, conservation, and documentation of the Native collection, providing a foundation for consultation, research and continued collecting
  • Interpretive planning team: feels confident to outreach to Native community liaisons for ongoing collaboration
  • Communications team: learns new media outlets and the language for messaging and feels confident with cohesive public outreach strategy around decolonizing initiatives
  • Museum wide tools for working with Native collections and descendent communities aligns facility with National standards of excellence


Culture Card: A Guide to Build Cultural Awareness

Do’s and Don’ts Inclusive Engagement with Native Americans

Dartt, D. (2011). California’s Sites of Conscience: An Analysis of the State’s Historic Mission Museums. American Anthropological Association

Dartt, D., J.M., Erlandson. (2006). Little Choice for the Chumash: Colonialism, Cattle and Coercion in Mission Period California. American Indian Quarterly

Galio-Whitaker, Dina. (2018). Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Settler Privilege.

Garcia, F., (2018). Guide to Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for Cultural Institutions

Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement. (2017). U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

Marstine, J. (2011). The Contingent Nature of the New Museum Ethics. Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics

Regan, S. (2015). In Mainstream Museums, Confronting Colonialism While Curating Native American Art

Sepulveda, C. (2018). Our Sacred Waters: Theorizing Kuuyam as a Decolonial Possibility. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies : research and indigenous peoples


DiAngelo, R. (2018). White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard To Talk To White People About Racism


Dartt, D. (2017). Archaeology Talks: Indigenizing Curatorial Practices. Retrieved from

DiAngelo, R. (2016, February). Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo. Retrieved from

DiAngelo, R. ( 2018, June). White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Retrieved from



Reel Injun