Recently, two members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Cultural Services team attended the Annual Native American Museum Studies Institute on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Sue Folsom, Executive Director of Cultural Services, and Shelley Garner, Director of CAAE, were two of twenty-five participants chosen from a nation-wide pool of applicants. Other tribes attending included Pawnee, Hopi, Sac & Fox, Fort Sill Apache, Costanoan Ohlone, Inupait, Oglala Lakota, Spokane Tribe of Indians and Barona Band of Mission Indians. Other participants were staff members from Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Delores), the Southern Ninesan Maidu Museum, the MACT Health Board and the Californian State Indian Museum.
Folsom and Garner spent a week in intensive study with a wide array of tribal professionals and cultural innovators. The institute focused on topics related to the museum practices and cultural preservation. Presentation topics featured fundraising, grant writing, NAGPRA, museum curation, museum collections management software, conservation and care of objects, museum education and curriculum, museum law, exhibit design and digitizing collections. Also, on site clinics were held at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (Berkeley) and Mission Delores (San Francisco).
The goal of the Joseph A. Meyers Center for Research on Native American Issues is to assist tribal professionals in networking and learning from each other in a shared environment. The annual Museum Studies Institute aims to help those working specifically in tribal museums, cultural centers, archives and other similar institutions to increase their level of knowledge, share tribally specific issues dealing with collections and best practices, and create a strong network of tribal professionals.
To learn more about Choctaw culture, visit www.choctawnationculture.com http://www.choctawnationculture.com . For details on the Joseph A. Meyers Center for Research on Native American Issues and the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues please visit http://crnai.berkeley.edu/about http://crnai.berkeley.edu/about .