Native American Museum Studies Institute (NAMSI)

Mon-Thurs, August 5-8, with an optional day on Friday, Aug. 9. NAMSI takes place primarily at UC Berkeley

The Native American Museum Studies Institute helps to increase the capacity of tribal community members to repatriate, conserve, and revitalize tribal cultural heritage, foster tribal representations and partnerships, and educate tribal and non-tribal communities through museum development exhibits. NAMSI was held annually 2012-2019 and is resuming in 2024 after a hiatus due to COVID.

(Right: 2018 Advanced NAMSI participants after touring parts of UC Berkeley’s North American Collections.)


A Professional Development Opportunity for Tribal Museum Professionals

Sponsored by:

Co-sponsored by:

This brief video was made by 2017 NAMSI participant Sabine Talaugon (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians) Founder and Consultant, Iwex Consulting; Volunteer, Guadalupe Cultural Arts and Education Center.

Topics in the intensive four-day workshop vary each year, but generally include:

• Collections Management and Cataloging 
• Conservation/Collections Care 
• Curation and Exhibit Design 
• Educational Programming for Children and Youth
• Repatriation and NAGPRA 
• Museum Development, Management and Fundraising 
• Tribal Partnerships and Decolonizing Museums

Eligibility and Application 

  • Priority will be given to those already working or volunteering with a tribe’s collection in a museum or in another tribal cultural preservation project 
  • Those planning a museum or other cultural preservation project may also apply and may be accepted depending upon availability 
  • Apply here  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the Institute is full, at which time the application form will be closed. Applicants will be notified within one month of applying.

Expense and Logistics

• The training is tuition free to the participants
• A non-refundable $50 fee covers lunch and materials.
• Participants will be responsible for their other meals, lodging, and travel expenses, Participants will also be responsible for making their own travel and hotel arrangements, but since space is limited, please do not make any non-refundable reservations until you are notified that you are accepted into the program. We will provide participants with suggestions for lodging.
• Partial travel stipends may be available in case of financial need.

Thank you to the Henry Luce Foundation, Indigenous Knowledge Initiative for funding NAMSI 2024.

Thank you to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for funding NAMSI 2013-2019. 

Thank you to our 2022 donors, including:

Meg Conkey, Louise Fortmann, Sandra Karinen, Deborah Lustig, Frank Neuhauser, Martín Sánchez-Jankowski, Stephen Small, Christine Smith, Christine Trost

Please support NAMSI with a donation to the Myers Center (just email us that the donation is specifically for NAMSI)


I found this experience so enriching! Working with such great resources was amazing; I think NAGPRA training was so important. Learning about other collections and skills (CSpace, TK labels, and Mukurtu) was all new information. I look forward to implementing that knowledge.” – Past NAMSI participant

“Networking with peers; making long-term connections. Agenda items presented by Native people. Good exposure to and problem-solving of museum issues.” – Past NAMSI participant’s response to program evaluation question: What did you find to be the most valuable aspects of the institute? 

Media Coverage

Read Berkeley News article about the 2012 institute here.

For more information about the workshop or application, please contact Paula Myers: