Senior Curator, Native American Collections

JOB TITLE: #1823 Senior Curator, Native American Collections

LOCATION: History Center - 345 W Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102

COMPENSATION: $65,040.00 annual minimum, commensurate with experience

STATUS & HOURS: Full-time, regular (approximately 2,080 annual hours) position.

BENEFITS: Eligible to participate in State Employee Group Insurance Program and a retirement program with employer contribution. Generous vacation and sick time accruals with additional paid holidays.

DESIGNATION: Supervisory POSTING DATE: October 12, 2023

DEADLINE DATE: Open Until Filled

TO APPLY: Interested applicants must apply online at the Minnesota Historical Society’s career center at www.mnhs.org/jobs and include a resume and cover letter by the application deadline date.

DESCRIPTION: This position exists to play a vital role in leading the direction of the MNHS Native American Collections through documentation, interpretation, and stewardship. In order to develop and implement a robust strategy for access, impact, and community engagement, the Curator collaborates with MNHS leadership, the director of Collections, peer curators and collections management colleagues, and colleagues across the organization, including the director of Native American Initiatives, as well as Native nations and Native community members. A key aspect of this collaboration includes investigating, building support for, and implementing a new model of sustainable, ethically-driven collecting and stewardship practices. The curator of Native American Collections will also play a critical role in leading MNHS strategy and compliance with Native American Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) and efforts related to culturally sensitive and sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony: collaboratively developing priorities and strategies for NAGPRA in the 21st century, as well as leading collections review, research, documentation, access, consultation, and repatriation. Working independently as well as part of a team, the Senior Curator is responsible for collection development and review, acquisitions, and engaging with collections holders, creators, and their communities. The Senior Curator is charged with developing and sharing ethical and sustainable collecting practices for Native American collections. The Senior Curator provides support for the Native American Artist in Residence (NAAIR) program; especially with regards to sharing MNHS Collections with artists, providing intellectual expertise, and closely collaborating with NAAIR program leadership. The Senior Curator also works with colleagues to steward and provide access to MNHS collections through research, programming, and exhibits; communicating with donors about ongoing collection needs and priorities; and offering intellectual guidance to Library catalogers, reference staff, and other colleagues about new and existing collections materials. The goal of curatorial efforts is to embed collections in the telling of history and stories across the organization; and to further the strategic priorities and the mission of the organization related to transforming access, expanding shared authority and expertise, and creating a sustainable future for the use, growth, and stewardship of collections materials. The successful candidate should have extensive knowledge of Native American history, culture, and communities, as well as experience with objects in a museum context; significant experience working with culturally sensitive collections and leading efforts related to NAGPRA; and experience building productive and equitable relationships with Native nations and Native community members. They should be an active participant in relevant professional organizations and field-wide discussions; and a commitment to and experience with fostering and maintaining equitable and respectful partnerships within and outside a large organization.

SUMMARY OF WORK: 1) Lead the collaborative work to strengthen 3D/ Native American Collections at MNHS, with a principal focus on Native American collections; 2) Collaborate and provide leadership to ensure institutional compliance with NAGPRA; 3) Work with colleagues across MNHS to promote access to, engagement with, and interpretation of MNHS collections; 4) Contribute to MNHS’s commitment to sharing Minnesota history through community engagement and partnerships; 5) Contribute to organizational strategic priorities and initiatives through active participation in leadership, supervision, committee, and other opportunities; and 6) Provide support for the Native American Artist-in-Residence (NAAIR) program.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

● Bachelor’s degree.

● Seven years experience in a museum or library field, or equivalent.

● Demonstrated supervisory experience.

● Excellent communication skills across constituencies and audiences.

● Successful experience and comfort in publicly representing institutional priorities, policies, and practices.

● Deep knowledge of Native American history and culture.

● Experience leading grant-funded projects.

● Advanced experience with NAGPRA related policies and procedures (leading this work preferred).

● Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of Minnesota history and culture.

● Experience working with 3D materials in museum/cultural heritage organization, or research context.

● Experience making accessible archival and special/museum collections through interpretation, research, programming, or other relevant means.

● Ability to develop high proficiency with relevant content management systems and databases for collections research, documentation, and analysis.

● Ability to write and speak clearly and concisely in order to create content and communicate effectively.

● Demonstrated ability to think imaginatively and problem solve.

● Demonstrated ability to work independently and take individual initiative while also being able to collaborate effectively and contribute positively in a team environment.

● Demonstrated ability to multitask, work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines, prioritize and adapt to changing priorities.

● Demonstrated success building and maintaining equitable community relationships.

● Commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment that embraces diverse viewpoints and experiences.

● Ability to provide work direction to colleagues, interns, and volunteers.

● Valid driver’s license and willingness to travel.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

● Advanced degree in Museum studies, Library and Information Studies, Native American Studies, History, or related field.

● Five years of curatorial or collections experience in a museum, library, or academic/scholarly research context.

● Demonstrated experience in project management.

● Experience leading efforts related to NAGPRA and repatriation of culturally sensitive materials, such as research, consultation, documentation, and communication.

● Record of scholarship in the field through exhibits, presentations, and/or publications.

● Active involvement in a professional association.

● Experience developing and leading grant-funded efforts.

Should you have questions with the application process, email humanresources@mnhs.org. At MNHS, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on diversity for the benefit of our employees, our products and services, and our community. The Minnesota Historical Society believes that an inclusive culture among our team members is critical to our success as a historical society and museum, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. The Minnesota Historical Society is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and employer.


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