Decolonization is the act of reflecting, expanding, and implementing change in whose perspectives and voices the museum chooses to portray beyond those of the dominant cultural group, particularly white colonizers. The Alliance has compiled this set of resources on decolonization from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

Museopunks Podcast: Decolonize the Museum!

In this episode of the Museopunks podcast, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President & CEO of the Abbe Museum, delves into the complexities of decolonization.

Decolonizing the Museum Mind
Read on the Center for the Future of Museums blog from Frank Howarth who discusses the tension between our mission to preserve the past, and a moral obligation to confront the bias and inequities entangled with that inheritance.

Two Case Studies in Decolonization

On the Alliance blog, Daryl Jorgenson & Mae Sevedge explore how the push for decolonization is making a concrete impact at two museums: Historic Fort Snelling and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia.

Read more articles about decolonization from the Alliance blog, the Center for the Future of Museums blog, and other publications.

Other Resources

Decolonizing the Smithsonian: Museums as Microcosms of Political Encounter

This article from the American Historical Review discusses the relationship between politics, decolonization, and museums.


The National Museum of the American Indian shares its full repatriation policy and that lays out a six-step process to get an object repatriated to a Native community.

A Step-by-Step Guide Through the Repatriation Process

This guide is how the Smithsonian Nation Museum of the American Indian approaches the repatriation process.

The Sarr-Savoy Report & Restituting Colonial Artifacts

This article from the Center for Art Law discusses the Sarr-Savoy Report and its effects on the restitution of colonial artifacts.

Teaching Decolonization Resource Collection

The Teaching Decolonization Resource Collection from the National History Center was created to provide materials to support the study of decolonization in classrooms.

The Black Arts Curator, activists for representation and decolonization of Western Art Museums

On Artblog, Kemuel Benyehudah weighs in about the importance of the work and activism of Black curators in collecting institutions. Read about the necessary decolonization work being done by Black curators and the work of local curators, Dr. Brittany Webb and Dr. Monique Scott.

We Must Decolonize Our Museums

Recorded at TEDxDirigo in November 2016, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko shares the urgency of museum decolonizing practices and offers three ways to approach the decolonization of museums.

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