How can you be an ally to Native peoples? How can you support a present and future that includes the stories and experiences of Indigenous communities? By volunteering with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), you can do all that and more. The museum, with locations on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and New York City, and the Cultural Resources Center (CRC) in Suitland, MD, envisions equity and social justice for all Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere through education, inspiration, and empowerment. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life. Volunteers play essential roles in realizing this vision by connecting visitors to our exhibitions, research, and educational and public programs in informed and meaningful ways.
Visitor Information Specialist Volunteer (Museum Information Desk Program), DC & NY: Visitor Information Specialist Volunteers give visitors a warm welcome and offer useful information about exhibitions, activities, services, and more. Volunteers are stationed at the museum's Welcome Centers, where they provide wayfinding guidance, answer questions about exhibits and programs, and encourage visitors to engage with the museum’s offerings in meaningful ways. This position requires individuals to have a desire to expand their knowledge of Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere, strong customer service skills, an outgoing demeanor, enjoy working with diverse audiences, and experience conducting ad hoc research online. Volunteers must be flexible, dependable, and adaptable. They will primarily provide informational services to visitors but also act as visitor liaisons to museum staff, including Interpretive Services staff, security, and facilities staff.
imagiNATIONS Activity Center Volunteer, DC & NY: imagiNATIONS Activity Center Volunteers work with children and youth, provide customer service, organization, and wayfinding, assist in program implementation, prepare culturally relevant Make and Take activities, and more. The imagiNATIONS Activity Centers are bilingual (English/Spanish), interactive, hands-on, STEAM learning spaces based in Indigenous knowledge and the practices of Indigenous cultures. Knowledge of more than one language is an asset, though not required.
Community Programs Volunteer, DC & NY: Community Programs Volunteers support the production and execution of public programs. The museum produces numerous events each year, such as festivals, dance and music performances, symposia, and film events. Volunteers may provide wide-ranging assistance to staff including program research, event set-up, ushering and crowd management, answering visitor questions, providing wayfinding guidance, assisting visiting artists, performers, and scholars, and more.
Visit "Volunteer with the Smithsonian" to learn about volunteer opportunities across the Smithsonian.