An Analysis of Diversifying Museums: American Indians in Conservation
AuthorDawley, Martina Michelle
American Indian Studies
AdvisorTippeconnic-Fox, Mary Jo
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAn investigation was conducted to show the number of American Indians in the field of conservation, through a quantitative and qualitative analysis. The research investigated the primary question, why are there so few American Indian conservators. In addition, the following secondary questions were examined: 1) How many conservators of American Indian ethnicity are there? 2) What factors influence the number of American Indian conservators? 3) How will American Indians qualified to practice conservation benefit museums? The findings for this study were collected through an online survey, personal interviews, and observations. The results showed that there was a significant relationship between education, conservation, and being American Indian. The study proved the hypothesis that there were not a lot of American Indian conservators. An earlier report investigating the status of American Indians in professional positions in museums nationwide revealed similar results (Rios-Bustamante, 1996). Other publications mentioned Indigenous people as collaborators and participants in various museum practices such as curatorial work, preservation, conservation, and exhibits; but did not specifically name an American Indian as a professional conservator (Bloomfield, 2013; Clavir, 2002; Erickson, 2002; Lonetree, 2012; Odegaard and Sadongei, 2005).A total of eleven participants were interviewed. Of the eleven participants interviewed, nine identified as American Indian from the United States, one identified as Maori from New Zealand working temporarily in the United States, and one as Italian-American (Table 13). Of the eleven interviewed, three identified as trained conservators qualified to practice conservation as a professional conservator. Of the three identifying at trained conservators, two were American Indian, Navajo/Assiniboine and Navajo. A total of ninety-three participants responded to the online survey. Univariate analysis using the standard t-test was used to compare each variable to the dependent, binomial variable (variable of interest=American Indian Conservator, yes or no) to determine its initial significance (Table 12). Significant variables were then added into the model and logistic regression analysis was performed to capture any effect a variable might have on the dependent variable. As a result, the data showed that a conservator was 8.6 times more likely not to be American Indian than conservators who were not American Indian in this study. This analysis and interpretation of the data was used as a preliminary study for future research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
American Indian Studies