Statement on Online Collections and Culturally Sensitive Collections

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) makes its collections information widely accessible by publishing collections online. Because the museum’s collections include some objects, images, and information that should not be shared publicly, records for these materials may be presented without images or with limited information.

As part of the museum’s commitment to Native/Indigenous constituencies, the NMAI complies with restrictions regarding the public presentation of images and information communicated by authorized Native/Indigenous community or tribal representatives. The NMAI uses a conservative approach in publishing collections where potential cultural sensitivities may exist. For both documented and suspected cultural sensitivities, the NMAI withholds object images, culturally protected information, and historic photos of culturally sensitive subjects, and instead publishes only textual information.

The museum has taken great care to ensure that only materials appropriate for public audiences are included in its online offerings. If you believe that the NMAI has published an image or information that should be restricted, send details to

The NMAI responds to notifications at this address within two business days. If the NMAI confirms that the image or information was published in error, the image or information will be removed from Smithsonian websites as soon as possible.

Consideration and action on other requests may take longer and may involve consultation with recognized cultural authorities, such as Tribal Heritage Preservation Officers, religious and cultural leaders, and tribal government officials. During this process, the museum may temporarily remove images and information from Smithsonian websites. The museum is committed to informing notifiers of progress and addressing issues within 30 days.

Send information or corrections related to the museum’s online collections to

For questions not concerning online collections, visit the Contact page.