The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) traces the history of Seattle and the surrounding region from the 19th century to the present day. MOHAI aims to be treasured locally and respected nationally as a vibrant resource where history inspires us to build a better future. To serve our region, we bridge the past, present, and future by collecting, preserving, and sharing stories through compelling, innovative exhibits and community engagement.
The Pacific Northwest has a vital network of Native American communities and Tribal Nations. MOHAI has a long history of collaborating with Native American scholars, artists, innovators, and Tribal Representatives. However, these collaborations have primarily been project-oriented or focused on specific areas of influence; for example, MOHAI Board participation, Collections Committee leadership, exhibit content contributions, and program collaborations. In 2022, MOHAI employees completed an Introduction to Decolonization training that began a process of reflecting on how we approach our work and our norms, processes, and policies. In January 2020, MOHAI completed the development of our racial equity statement and work plan (view the MOHAI Racial Equity Statement). Our work plan is updated annually and integrates racial equity work into the daily work of all museum teams.
MOHAI seeks guidance on a strategic review of the existing internal policies and processes that guide our care and use of Native American materials as well as our representations of Native American culture in interpretive projects. In addition, we seek to establish best practices for refreshing and deepening our relationships with the Native American communities and Tribal Nations in our region.
Overall, we have significant and long-term goals for our museum. We recognize that progress toward these goals will occur in phases and are now seeking support for reviewing our current approach and beginning to identify some specific steps forward. Below are our long-term goals, which we recognize will happen over many years, in multiple phases.
The specific scope of work will be defined in collaboration between MOHAI and the consultant(s), appropriate for the time and funds available. We seek help reviewing our current approach and defining next steps. We anticipate that one of those steps will be defining a need for ongoing support. Rather than tell the consultant what the specific scope of work will be, MOHAI staff shares below some of the questions that we are grappling with.
MOHAI is a museum with settler colonial origins, and this work has been led thus far by white staff. We recognize our limitations, are eager to do the work, and are open to being directed. In the short-term, we seek assistance reviewing our current approach and defining some next steps. We are not seeking immediate answers to the challenges listed below, but rather guidance in defining the first steps forward.
We seek a Native American person or team with the following qualifications:
Rather than ask for a detailed proposal and plan of work, we simply request letters of interest that help us to learn about you. We will follow up with a conversation to explore how we might work together. We will define the specifics of the work plan together as part of the paid contract.
Letters of interest need simply to include:
This may take the form of a letter, email, resume, website link, video, or other format that tells us about you and your work.
In our follow up conversation, we plan to discuss:
Please submit your letter of interest to Nicole Robert, Community Engagement Officer (contact information also listed below).
Letter of Interest Due By: April 14, 2023
Project Due By: Complete in 2023
Budget: up to $12,000
Contact: Nicole Robert
Phone: 206.324.1126 x165
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MOHAI will be closing at 2pm today, August 13, 2023.
Please contact us at 206-324-1126 with any questions or for help planning your visit.