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NAGPRA Program and Collections Manager

Western Washington University, Department of Anthropology
Bellingham, Washington State
Closing date
Apr 18, 2024

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Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Job Details

NAGPRA Program and Collections Manager


About the Position:

The NAGPRA Program and Collections Manager will oversee compliance, consultations, repatriations, and other activities associated with ensuring Western’s fulfillment of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The position will play a key role in managing, tracking, and evaluating the progress of core projects and initiatives relating to NAGPRA compliance. The position will work closely with the Chair of the Anthropology Department and WWU’s NAGPRA committee to build collaborative relationships with source communities on behalf of WWU. The position will also develop and evaluate processes to share or return important cultural items and archives to descendants, source communities, or culture keepers. This is a full-time, 12-month, professional staff position that requires travel.

Primary responsibilities include:

Collections Management and Relationship Building

  • Serve as a liaison between WWU and source communities, stakeholders, and descendants on all topics associated with collections at WWU.
  • Work collaboratively with the WWU Executive Director of American Indian/Alaska Native and First Nations Relations and Tribal Liaison to the President
  • Respond to inquiries and requests from Native American representatives and other stakeholders, schedule consultations, build and maintain communication channels with stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with the Anthropology Department and the NAGPRA Committee, develop a prioritized list of all WWU holdings for further research and review to determine if provenance for all collections is lawful and ethical.
  • Consult with source communities and nations to develop co-curation agreements, restorative actions, or other reparative measures, as appropriate.
  • Research all records and archives and consult with nations and descendants to determine cultural or community affiliation. Conduct independent research on collections.
  • Build collaborative relationships with descendants, source communities, source nations, and culture keepers to ensure ethical storage, handling, and display of collections.
  • Schedule and facilitate access to collections by stakeholders.
  • Manage the schedule and logistical considerations for site visits and assist in preparing other staff for visits, consultations, and repatriations of non-NAGPRA eligible holdings.
  • Enter data and maintain the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data and information related to research and consultations in the WWU and Anthropology's databases.
  • With other staff, develop grant proposals and funding requests to support repatriation and consultation activities.

Manage Archaeological Repository

  • Assist in the identification, evaluation, protection, cataloging, cleaning, labeling, storing, and maintenance of properties, objects, or collections.
  • Improve the quality of collection storage and organization and assist in the maintenance of collection records.
  • Analyze, organize, index, and describe materials such as slides, digital collections, and photographs.
  • Assist with public tours or other educational outreach programs, identifying materials that are appropriate for public access.
  • In collaboration with faculty, organize and prepare teaching collections (non-NAGPRA materials) for class use as required by faculty members.

NAGPRA Research and Compliance

  • Manage and maintain WWU's compliance with NAGPRA.
  • Maintain WWU's collections and records and communicate any changes to the National NAGPRA program and laws to WWU NAGPRA Committee.
  • Serve as primary advisor to the WWU NAGPRA Committee.
  • Coordinate, maintain and file all NAGPRA records, communications, notices, records of activities, and inventories.

Policy Development

  • Advise in the development and refinement of policies related to acquisitions and deaccessioning to ensure lawful and ethical practices are maintained.
  • Address legal and ethical compliance with local, state, federal, and international laws, treaties, and conventions relating to the acquisition and use of collections.
  • Communicate with WWU legal team, Government Relations, and Contracts Office to develop unique co-curation and other agreements with source communities, nations, and descendants.
  • Advise WWU NAGPRA Committee and other units on decolonizing practices, initiatives, and policies.


  • Actively participate in creating a work environment that is culturally and linguistically sensitive, supportive, respectful, welcoming, and collaborative.
  • Attend NAGPRA Committee meetings and actively participate in planning and evaluation of the collections.
  • Actively participate in creating a work environment that is supportive, respectful, welcoming, and collaborative.
  • Actively participate in creating and reviewing WWU NAGPRA-related policies and procedures.
  • May serve on community or campus committees, working groups, or participate in other advisory groups.
  • Remain active in appropriate professional groups and develop conference or informational presentations when appropriate.
  • Serve as a technical advisor to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty researchers.

Required Qualifications

  • Any combination of experience and education equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies, Anthropology, History, Art History, Legal Studies or related field
  • A total of two (2) years in education, training and/or work experience working with Native American Tribes, representatives, and descendants.
  • Demonstrated experience with procedures, policies, and activities related to compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
  • Working knowledge of factors important to the management of archaeology collections, such as historical eras, geological formations, and community standards and existing best practices in a given field.
  • Experience with human osteology.
  • Knowledge of Native American History.
  • Experience writing reports, grants, professional correspondence, and/or procedure manuals.
  • Experience effectively presenting information to and responding to questions from individuals or groups of managers, scientists, and the general public.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Masters degree in Native American Studies, Anthropology, History, Art History, Legal Studies or related field.
  • 2 years of experience managing staff.
  • 2 years of experience in project management.
  • Experience working in a nonprofit, tribal or first nations organization, arts/cultural organization, or higher education.
  • Experience working with diverse cultures and communities from around the globe.
  • Experience working for an organization committed to supporting diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and belonging.

Successful candidates will have the following:

  • Ability to build rapport and establish effective working relationships with co-workers and stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others.
  • Awareness of, and sensitivity to, cultural and linguistic differences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated effective organizational skills.
  • Ability to assume responsibility and to work independently with minimum guidance.
  • Demonstrated effective organization, supervisory and communication skills desired to provide daily leadership.
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of college and departmental personnel, including deans, college staff, department heads, and departmental financial and human resource personnel.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.


Hiring range for position is $72,070 - $82,880/year.  Through longevity position tops out at $93,690/year.

Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications. Please include the names and contact information of three professional references. References will only be contacted if necessary, with notice provided beforehand. Apply and submit hiring documents here:

Closing Date Notes

Application review begins April 10, 2024; position is open until filled



Western Washington University, with nearly 13,000 students and eight colleges, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students, and faculty. The 224-acre campus, located in Bellingham, Washington, overlooks Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 55 miles south of Vancouver, B.C. With its year-round mild climate, recreational opportunities abound from the water to the nearby ski slopes of 10,778 foot Mount Baker and the alpine country of the Cascades WWU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities, Vietnam-era and disabled veterans are encouraged to apply. For disability accommodation, call (360) 650-3774 or (360) 650-7696 (TTY). All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU.

The following information is provided by the employer in accordance with AAA policy. AAA is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of these statements. They are not part of the actual position description submitted for publication by the employer.

  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
  • This employer does not offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners.
  • This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.

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