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Resources for Native Cultural Institutions



  • American Museum of Indian Arts and Culture: Incoming Receipt Sample
  • Incoming Object Receipt Sample


  • Navigating the General Facilities Report This webinar introduces the American Alliance of Museums General Facilities Report (GFR). The GFR was designed to make the museum lending process easier by capturing information about the borrowing facility but can seem like an overwhelming task. This NMAI presentation breaks down each section of the report making the GFR seem like a much less daunting project.
  • Bringing Cultural Materials Home Indigenous cultural items are held by museums and other collecting institutions throughout the world. Many of these institutions have established formal programs to work with Indigenous communities, including repatriating or loaning items. This webinar provides information on identifying where culturally specific collections are held, researching institutional loan and repatriation policies, establishing positive relationships, and what happens after the items are brought home. The repatriation of the return of 100 Tewa pots to the Poeh Cultural Center serves as a case study.
  • Returning Home: Borrowing Objects from the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian Presenters from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian outline how to prepare and plan for loans from NMAI, including important timelines, budgeting, applications, surveys, assessments, shipping, and environmental considerations. 

Collection Management Policies


  • Museum Core Documents: Collections Management Policy This video provides an overview of one of the Collections Management Policy. The presenter discusses what a collections management policy is, why it is important, the benefits of having a collections management policy in place, and the required elements for writing an effective collections management policy.
  • Preservation Assessment for Small Institutions This video discusses how a preservation assessment serves as a tool that combines all the recommendations for improving preservation of a collection. The presentation provides an overview of programs that may fund preservation assessments and discusses how institutions can leverage the assessment into improvements.



  • Menominee Logging Camp Museum Collections Assessment Report

Curatorial Toolkit

Includes information on research, loans, public programming, budgeting, and fundraising development.

Deeds of Gift



  • Art Museum of the Americas Deed of Gift
  • Minnesota Historical Society Deed of Gift
  • Western Reserve Historical Society Deed of Gift


  • Conditions for Domestic Loans at the National Museum of the American Indian
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Contaminated Museum Collections
  • Sample Museum Loan Policy
  • Loan Request Form: National Museum of the American Indian



  • Conducting Research in the National Anthropological Archives & Human Studies Film Archives: Online Search Guide and Information Packet
  • National Museum of the American Indian Cultural Resource Center Collections Access: Decision Tree
  • National Museum of the American Indian Cultural Resource Center Collections Access: Resources
  • Finding Indigenous-Related Collections in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Library of Congress

Research Tutorials

Tribal Resolutions

Zuni Tribe

  • Tribal Council Resolution
  • Letter to Sotheby’s Chairman

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