At the Smithsonian

Gwyneira Isaac

Gwyneira Isaac is Curator of North American Ethnology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Her research investigates knowledge systems and the relationships societies develop with their past, especially as to how this is expressed through museums. Central to this study is her ethnography of a tribal museum, Mediating Knowledges: Origins of a Museum for the Zuni People (2007), in which she examines challenges faced by Zunis operating between Zuni and Euro-American approaches to knowledge. She is currently director of the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative—a collaborative effort with communities to address issues of indigenous language and knowledge sustainability at the national and global level.