On Sunday, the Museum of Northern Arizona opened a new galley to the public, with a focus on the naive peoples of the Colorado Plateau. This gallery included input from the native tribes in regard to what would be displayed. It was an update long awaited.
The exhibit was put together in collaboration with ten communities, and features 350 objects ranging between interactive learning and brief history written on the walls.
Director and CEO of the Northern Arizona Museum Carrie Heinonen explained that this new, permanent exhibition is the first update in over 38 years, and that learning about tribal communities is the number one thing visitors ,who come from around the world, are looking for. Offering this perspective coming straight the voices of the tribal communities is important and marks a change in the way the museum presents these object.
Havasupai tribe member Ophelia Watahomigie-Corliss worked closely with museum staff on how her tribe would be represented, and described how she spent two days with a consultant group, speaking about the tribe values. Each community put a lot of time and thought into what items should be displayed.