Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Richard Clemmer-Smith, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Esteban Gómez, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Frederique Chevillot


American Indian, Critical museology, Indigenous curation, NAGPRA, Native American, Sacred objects, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act


This thesis explores the questions of how and why indigenous curation is incorporated into collections care and management for American Indian sacred, ceremonial, and religious items at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) through the examination of staff discourse. This thesis also discusses the importance of incorporating non-Western ontologies and epistemologies into classically Western science and natural history museums, and how this helps reconcile differing collections care and management practices. Through the presentation and examination of data and literature, I argue that it is important to include indigenous curation in museums because it aids in cultural revitalization and reclamation for Native Americans, and that incorporating indigenous curatorial methods and alternative ontologies and epistemologies aids in the decolonization process in museums. This argument is presented through a case study of the Anthropology Department at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Julia Marie Strunk


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

111 p.


Museum Studies, Cultural Anthropology