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The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture was founded in 1885. It is the oldest public museum in Washington state and was designated the State Museum in 1899. Its administration resides with the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences. The Burke recognizes that the museum sits on traditional Tribal lands. The Burke holds deep respect for Indigenous knowledge, and is dedicated to collaborating with the diverse Indian Tribes and Indian Organizations as they achieve their goals through the use of Burke resources, and learning together.
Our Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has an outstanding opportunity for a Tribal Liaison.This individual is responsible for overall coordination of the Burke's relationships with Indian Tribes and Indian Organizations. It especially includes establishing and strengthening ties and relationships with tribal officials, elders, staff, and urban Indian leadership.
Duties include but are not limited to:
Build & Maintain Relationships
o Promote effective communication and collaboration between the Burke and Indian Tribes and Indian Organizations. This includes regularly communicating with and visiting tribal officials, as well as tribal staff, and elders. Tribes will be informed about the Burke's work and the Burke will understand tribes' priorities and opportunities for the Burke to support tribal-led work.
o Assist in developing strategies, procedures, and protocols for Burke discussions and negotiations with tribal governments, in hope of creating mutually beneficial agreements and partnerships between the Burke and Indian Tribes and Indian Organizations.
o Stay connected to Indian Country, understanding issues and priorities important to tribes and urban Indian leaders and identifying ways the Burke may partner in these efforts. This includes attending ATNI conventions, meetings and other tribal-led gatherings and events, as appropriate. Share this information with Burke leadership and staff so it can be used to inform decisions and build opportunities for connection.
o Represent the Burke at the University of Washington's Tribal Summit, the UW's Native American Advisory Board meetings and the state's Centennial Accord meetings. Serve as the contact for and work closely with the UW Tribal Liaison and Governor's Office of Indians Affairs.
New Burke Preparation
o Coordinate with tribal officials and elders on the protocols and/or ceremonies associated with objects prior to the move into the New Burke and the opening of the New Burke.
o Coordinate outreach to tribes to both inform them about the New Burke and hear feedback. Arrange consultation on specific questions for tribes during exhibit design process and work to obtain consent.
o Work closely with exhibit team to ensure input and feedback from NAAB and tribal outreach meetings is considered throughout the development of the New Burke visitor experience.
Native American Advisory Board (NAAB)
o Coordinate the Burke's NAAB.
o Support NAAB Members' leadership, providing information and opportunities to advise the Burke.
o Work with Burke leadership and NAAB members to plan at least 2-3 in-person meetings per year with care taken to travel distance, weather conditions and other potential conflicts; responsible for co-creating the agenda, supporting presenters, and facilitating meetings.
o Work with the Executive Director and Tribal Relations Committee to identify potential NAAB members. Handle the logistics of inviting and onboarding new members.
o Maintain relationships with NAAB members, visiting each member in-person at least once per year to hear their priorities and ideas for the Burke keeping them engaged and valued members of leadership.
Support Exhibits, Programming, and Education
o Assist the Burke's interpretive department with identifying potential partners for exhibits and events at the Burke. As necessary, gain consent and input from tribal partners on content.
o Identify programming and exhibit opportunities that would serve tribal partners and further mutual goals.
o Identify partnership opportunities with tribal museums and other partners that help get the Burke out into communities and reservations.
o Coordinate closely with the Burke's Native American Education Specialist who is responsible for leading the Burke's education outreach and programming work.
Support Collections & Research Departments
o Work with tribes and Burke curators across all departments to identify mutually-beneficial research projects.
o Explore partnership and learning exchanges between tribal museums/repositories and the Burke.
Build Internal Capacity & Connection
o Serve as a resource to Burke staff, helping them understand the government-to-government nature of the Burke's relationship with tribes and broader issues that may impact their work.
o Provide information on Pacific Northwest and Washington tribal histories, treaties, sovereignty, self-governance, protocols, customs and traditions, natural resources, and cultural properties.
o Strengthen internal communication by coordinating the Burke's Tribal Relations Committee (TRC). The Tribal Liaison will bring together Culture Curators, the NAGPRA Coordinator, and the Native American Education Specialist (and other staff as appropriate) to regularly share their work with tribes and Native-led organizations, coordinate across the museum, and discuss overarching issues.
o Attend various internal Burke meetings and identify issues that should be discussed by the Burke's Native American Advisory Board, the Tribal Relations Committee and/or other tribal partners.
o Advise the Burke's Development Team on funding requests regarding tribal specific projects and funding opportunities. Also, assist the Development Team by obtaining support letters from tribes, as appropriate, for grant proposals.
o Advise the Burke's Communication Team as needed, including responding to social media inquiries and identifying materials to share on social media and the website. Maintain the Tribal Governments, Museums, and Cultural Centers page on the website.
| Successful experience working with Indian Tribes and Indian Organizations. This includes an understanding of Pacific Northwest and Washington tribal histories, treaties, sovereignty, self-governance, protocols, customs and traditions, natural resources, and cultural properties, and an understanding of contemporary issues and conversations. |
Understanding of issues that have historically impacted tribes and Native peoples and demonstrated experience applying that knowledge in their work.
Bachelor's Degree in American Indian Studies, Museum Studies, Anthropology or related field.
The ability to work effectively with professionals in a variety of disciplines in a collaborative and cooperative manner and handle multiple tasks/projects at a given time.
Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to distil complex issues and convey a compelling story in a clear, concise manner in individual and group settings.
Skills in problem solving, analysis, evaluation and resolution. Ability to organize and prioritize tasks to meet objectives as part of the performance of position duties.
Ability to manage multiple priorities and stakeholders, exercise sound judgment, and maintain a positive attitude.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.