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Bringing Native American Voices into Exhibition Development

May 14, 2019

Nina Sanders, SAR’s 2016-2017 Anne Ray intern at the Indian Arts Research Center, is building on her experiences and the work done while at the IARC as she furthers collaborations between Native Americans and the country’s leading museums.

Sanders, Crow Indian from Montana and a child of the Whistling Water clan, is a graduate of the American Indian Studies and Anthropology program at Arizona State University.

Her current project brings together fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail and the resources at both Chicago’s Field Museum and the University of Chicago for an exhibition that will open in March 2020 highlighting contemporary and historic art from the Apsáalooke and the Northern Plains.

Nina Sanders, 2016-2017 Anne Ray intern

Sanders shared insights into Yellowtail’s work and provides a personal reflection on their visit to the Field Museum’s indigenous collections rooms in the April 2019 issue of Native American Arts Magazine.

She notes in the piece:

Everyone is over the moon about Yellowtail’s visit, hoping she will breathe new life into some of the sleepy spaces dedicated to Native people. Every Native person that comes into contact with the Field brings the spirit of Indigenous innovation and agency, vital ingredients for a true revamp of the Native North American exhibition hall, a space that has been in stasis since the 1950s.

Sanders’ previous work has included programming cultural revitalization projects for American Indian youth, and working with the Arizona State Museum, the Heard Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian to reconnect indigenous people to their ancestral objects for the purposes of re-creation and education.

Read the full article by Sanders online here.

The Anne Ray Internships are offered to two museum professionals annually and supports initiatives in Native American studies, art history, and creative expression that illuminate the intersections of the social sciences, humanities, and arts.


Learn more about the Indian Arts Research Center internship program here.

SAR hosted Sanders for an Instagram takeover in April 2019.

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