Rights and responsibilities: American Indian collections in cultural museums
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The presence of American Indian materials in collections is an asset and a liability for museums, a dichotomy that is reflected in the collections management practices and interpretation within exhibitions. This project is a study on the development of institutional practices as a response to legal and ethical influences. The research primarily consists of a review of current relevant literature, personal interviews, and case studies on two institutions in the state of Oregon: The Museum of Natural and Cultural History in Eugene, and the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute and Museum in Pendleton. This paper offers a current perspective on these organizations and their unique collections and exhibitions, response to cultural resource laws, and interpretative methodologies in the larger context of the cultural museum field.