Hands-On Fellowship Program Celebrates Twelve Years of Exposing Native American Undergraduates to Professional Opportunities in the Museum Field

For immediate release

Release dated: 
February 7, 2023
Media contacts: 

Jack Bernstein, 651-259-3058, jack.bernstein@mnhs.org

Allison Ortiz, 651-259-3051, allison.ortiz@mnhs.org

Hands-On Fellowship Program Celebrates Twelve Years of Exposing Native American Undergraduates to Professional Opportunities in the Museum Field

Ten-week program is now accepting 2023 applicants

ST. PAUL, Minn (February 7, 2023) – The Native American Initiatives department at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is proud to celebrate the impact of the Native American Undergraduate Museum Fellowship (NAUMF) program.

Since launching in 2011, the NAUMF program has welcomed 92 fellows from around the country, representing 53 tribal nations. Program alumni have represented 38 different undergraduate universities and tribal colleges and later accepted jobs in related fields, including Tribal historic preservation officers, language revitalization coordinators, national museum/MNHS staff members, Maxey museum curators, art gallery directors, and many more.

In January, alumni of the groundbreaking program came together at the Minnesota History Center to celebrate each other's accomplishments and the program’s wide-reaching impact.

“This gathering was a beautiful reminder of the impact this program has had and continues to have with Native communities in shifting the assumptions around museums and the collections we are stewards of,” said Amber Annis, MNHS Director of Native American Initiatives. “We’re very excited to reach even more people by welcoming a new class of undergraduate fellows to the program this year!”

The current format of the Native American Undergraduate Museum Fellowship is designed to expose students to careers in the museum field by participating in a 10-week program full of workshops and seminars, followed by seven weeks of immersive paid internship opportunities. The first three weeks of the program are centered around in-depth seminars covering topics such as conservation, collections, exhibitions, education, archaeology, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Fellows also hear from guest speakers while also participating in a mix of discussions, exhibit analysis and readings, discussions, and exhibit analysis.

Members of each undergraduate cohort learn about various career paths within the museum, cultural resource, public history, and tribal historic preservation fields, both on and off reservations, as well as unique challenges faced by American Indian Communities related to preserving tribal history and challenging the historical narratives of Native people.

The program is now accepting applications! Applicants meeting the defined criteria will receive outreach for interviews with NAUMF program staff. Selected participants will be placed within the Minnesota Historical Society system for the duration of their fellowship and hands-on internship experience. For additional program information and application instructions, please visit our website.

The ten-week MNHS Native American Undergraduate Museum Fellowship program is made possible by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves, and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.