National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson provides free admission to enrolled tribal members

"Our relationship with the wildlife is sacred, and this milestone allows for more educational opportunities with the general public to continue to tell our stories.”

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Tribal News

The National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA) recently announced a new program that waives the cost of admission for all enrolled tribal members. The Indigenous Access Program was launched in November in honor of Native American Heritage Month. The initiative is part of the museum’s broader commitment to amplifying Native voices in the worlds of art and education.

Madison Webb Stanko, the director of marketing at the museum, said the idea was sparked by several staff members who’d heard about similar programs throughout the country.

“Historically, museums have not always been accessible spaces for all communities, and financial barriers contribute to that divide,” she said.

Several years ago, NMWA formalized a Land Acknowledgment Statement, which acknowledged that they are “located on the ancestral land of the Shoshone-Bannock and Eastern Shoshone peoples – with many others having historic ties to the region.”


Stanko said the statement was just a starting point, and that removing barriers for the Indigenous community to access the museum is a crucial next step.

“Numerous tribes have ties to this region, so welcoming those communities to the museum is important,” she said.

NMWA consulted with several Native community partners for input about the program before finalizing it, including Eastern Shoshone tribal member Ivan D. Posey, who is the Tribal Education Coordinator at Central Wyoming College.

In a press release announcing the program, Posey said “the Jackson area was frequented by several tribes historically, and our presence is still felt by those before us. Our relationship with the wildlife is sacred, and this milestone allows for more educational opportunities with the general public to continue to tell our stories.”

The museum is also in the process of adding more work by Indigenous artists into their permanent collection. In the last five years, they’ve acquired works by Julie Buffalohead (Ponca), Raven Skyriver (Tlingit), Terrance Guardipee (Blackfeet), Preston Singletary (Tlingit), Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek) and other Native creatives.

This fall, NMWA opened an exhibit called “Transformations: Wildlife in Inuit Art and Culture,” which is showing until May and is the first Inuit art exhibit the museum has ever had on display. The museum is also collaborating with the Wind River Foundation for the third year to host a special event at the museum in March that creates a platform for Indigenous artists and musicians to share their work directly with the community.

Complimentary admission for enrolled tribal members can be arranged at the museum’s admissions desk, with no pre-registration or paperwork necessary. General admission is currently $18 for adults, with discounts available year-round for locals and veterans.

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About Hannah Habermann

Hannah is a NOLS Instructor, writer, and co-creator of the KHOL podcast "Yonder Lies: Unpacking the Myths of Jackson Hole." In her free time, she loves watering her plants, doing the Sunday crossword, and jumping into cold bodies of water.

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