Dominique Alhambra joined the Museum as the anthropology collections manager and NAGPRA coordinator in 2018. She has worked in collections stewardship and management for more than 10 years, with diverse collections at institutions such as the National Park Service, the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, and most recently the University of Iowa Museum of Art.
Dominique is especially interested in decolonizing practices and the ethics of caring for and repatriating collections acquired through colonial frameworks. Her favorite part of working in collections is engaging the community and collaborating with Native American tribes to increase access. Working so closely with tribal representatives has taught Dominique to ensure each object is handled according to the wishes of its originating group or their descendants whenever possible. From this perspective, even something as simple as transporting a culturally sensitive object in the collection to a new location can require extensive planning and collaboration.
On a typical day, you will likely find Dominique in the Avenir Collections Center diving deep into the database and updating records.