Native American Initiatives banner.

Native American Initiatives Department

The Native American Initiatives department (NAI) is responsible for the vision and strategy of incorporating Native content throughout our institution and our historic sites.

The NAI team is an advocate for Native communities and Native nations at the Minnesota Historical Society, serving as a bridge between community needs and MNHS resources, engaging with Native communities and nations throughout the state, and ensuring Native voices, stories, and concerns are addressed in MNHS work. The NAI team conducts research, provides content, and creates programming and engagement opportunities across the state.

NAI team.

The NAI team consults with teams across the Minnesota Historical Society and creates programming, events, and exhibits:


Our Home: Native Minnesota.

Our Home: Native Minnesota, an exhibit at the Minnesota History Center, shares Native Americans’ stories  of survival, resiliency, and adaptation. 

The exhibit draws on the depth and breadth of MNHS collections and archives, as well as objects on loan, to present the history and contemporary stories of the region’s Indigenous peoples.

Native American Artist-in-Residence Program.

The Native American Artist in Residence (NAAIR) program is a six-to-twelve-month paid residency open to artists practicing in all forms of (material culture) traditional art. 

NAAIR was created in 2014 to increase Native American artists’ understanding of traditional art and provide opportunities to share what they learned with their communities. 

Native American Undergraduate Museum Fellowship.

The Native American Undergraduate Museum Fellowship (NAUMF) is designed to expose students to careers in the museum field through a ten-week paid program. 

Since launching in 2011, NAUMF has helped dozens of Native American students launch careers in the museum industry.

Reconnecting Our Roots.

Reconnecting Our Roots

Reconnecting Our Roots is a program for Native American teenagers to engage in cultural activities and learn more about Native history and MNHS resources. Please check back for updates when applications are open.

Teaching Native American History and Culture.

The NAI team also consults with our education department and has compiled classroom resources for teaching Native American history and culture.