AIATSIS and the Smithsonian’s NMAI look to future collaboration

Friday, 20 October 2017
(L-R) AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie and NMAI Director Kevin Gover at the signing in Washington DC.
(L-R) AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie and NMAI Director Kevin Gover at the signing in Washington DC. Photo: AIATSIS

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Washington DC today.

AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie was on hand to sign the agreement which sets out the terms for a two year consultative and planning process between the two institutions.

“Both AIATSIS and the NMAI occupy important positions in our respective countries as institutions dedicated exclusively to the histories and cultures of indigenous peoples,” said Mr Ritchie.

“This agreement  to collaborate in areas of mutual interest and concern means we can learn from each other's strengths and expertise, and continue to build our capabilities in a relationship of shared commitment and two way exchange.”

AIATSIS and the NMAI will engage in a two-year project to learn about current research projects and operational capabilities, and discuss research compatibility with the goal of identifying joint collaborations.

The NMAI is part of the Smithsonian in the United States of America, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and a National Zoo. Like AIATSIS, the NMAI is devoted exclusively to the history and art of cultures indigenous to the Americas and holds one of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artefacts in the world.

The NMAI Research and Scholarship Group aims to advance understanding of Native knowledge, history, culture, art, and self-determination in collaboration with Native communities and scholars through research, scholarship and repatriation.

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Last reviewed: 20 Oct 2017