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Indigenous woman to lead Smithsonian American Indian museum

Native American Imagery Exhibit
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jan 21, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Indigenous New Mexico woman has been named to lead the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

Cynthia Chavez Lamar will be the first Native American woman to serve as the museum's director when she takes over on Feb. 14.

She's currently the acting associate director for collections and operations.

Chavez Lamar is an enrolled member at San Felipe Pueblo and an accomplished curator, author, and scholar whose research has focused on Southwest Native art.

Earlier in her career, she interned at a museum, and from 2000-2005, she was an associate curator, the Associated Press reported.

The museum's collection includes more than 1 million objects and photographs and more than 500,000 digitized images, films, and other media documenting Native American communities, events, and organizations.

Chavez Lamar's ancestry also includes Hopi, Tewa, and Navajo.

She will oversee in Washington, D.C. the museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., New York's George Gustav Heye Center, and Maryland's Cultural Resources Center.