Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Gregory Stevens, M.A.T.

Committee Member

Renee Robinson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D.

Committee Member

McKenna Schray, Ph.D.


Indigenous Culture, Museums, Storytelling, Native Americans, Narrative Theory, Museum exhibitions


Museums and Indigenous communities have shared tensions resulting from the way Native Americans have been discussed and depicted by museums, institutions which in the past have displayed indigenous cultures and artifacts alongside extinct animals and outdated dioramas. Despite this, Indigenous cultures and museums share an emphasis on storytelling practices, both as a means of education as well as preservation. This study sought to examine the use of storytelling and narrative exhibition development in museum exhibitions focused on Native American art, history, and culture. Through the course of a qualitative comparative cross case study, three key themes were identified, being Indigenous-led development, multimedia storytelling, and an emphasis on people rather than things, which when implemented more holistically represented Indigenous subjects.