The NAUMF program introduces undergraduates to the museum field through a 10-week paid program. Fellows learn about career paths and academic requirements for working in the museum field, both on and off reservations, as well as particular challenges faced by American Indian communities related to preserving tribal history and challenging the traditional historical narratives of Native people.

“I am thankful to be able to work in the traditional homelands of my people,” said Vazquez, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. “It means a great deal to me that I’ll be a part of a growing movement of Indigenous people occupying museum spaces. Additionally, I’m happy I can follow in the footsteps of former USD alumni who have also participated in the fellowship.”

The 10-week program will include three weeks of seminars and workshops and seven weeks of an internship program designed to engage and expose undergraduate students to the professional opportunities within the museum, cultural resource, public history and tribal historic preservation fields.

“I hope to gain firsthand experience on how I can work to preserve Indigenous history and further Indigenous perspectives in academic and museum settings,” said Vazquez. “My future goal is to work in cultural resource management or archaeology. This fellowship will provide me with skills and connections necessary to succeed in my field.”

At USD, Vazquez is a student ambassador and a member of the Honors Program. He’s also involved in TRIO, the Wiyuskinyan Unpi Tipi Living Learning Community, Anthropology Program Enthusiast Society, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.

Vazquez credits these experiences, connections with alumni and mentorship from faculty members with helping him secure this fellowship.

“I have been fortunate enough to speak with former USD students who partook in the fellowship, and their insight along with the guidance of my professors and advisors has been invaluable,” said Vazquez. “My coursework and curriculum prepared me for the fellowship by giving me an understanding for the field and shaping me into a suitable applicant. My professors have strengthened my understanding on the issues and challenges in Native studies and anthropology. Their feedback and support have been invaluable throughout my first two years, and I look forward to continuing learning from them.”

The NAUMF program began June 3 and runs through Aug. 9.

Press Contact
Hanna DeLange
Contact Email
Contact Website website