MDAH offers virtual and on-site opportunities that broaden understanding of Native American History and curatorial practices.
NAGPRA in Focus
Join MDAH's first virtual internship designed to outline the entire NAGPRA process. Participate in consultation, prepare documentation, and manage repatriation of a simulated collection as you expand your NAGPRA knowledge.
Archaeology Collections Internship
Broaden your understanding of Mississippi's history and interact with artifacts in our collection. This internship introduces artifact categories, collections management, and cataloging through hands-on work with collections professionals.
Courtesy of the Chickasaw Nation. All rights reserved.
Muslin Bag Donation
We need a variety of sizes of muslin bags to help us prepare individuals and cultural items for repatriation. If you would like to use your sewing skills to make muslin bags, see our Templates and Materials List below. Unbleached muslin and twill tape are easily accessible at your nearest craft store or online.
Please mail finished bags to:
Attn: Remote Sewing Project
Mississippi Department of Archives and History
PO Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205-0571
As part of a collaboration between ArtPlace and the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, these students are learning to sew and creating muslin bags for MDAH. The muslin bags will be used to respectfully rehouse individuals and their objects awaiting repatriation to Tribal Nations. You can click on the links above to learn more about programming and events.
Meet Our Interns and Volunteers
- Maddie Hale
Maddie Hale is a first year graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology at Mississippi State University. In May, she earned a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Anthropology with minors in Museum Studies and Classical Civilizations.
She is passionate about using the archaeological record to better understand how colonialism affects Indigenous populations and working to make the field of archaeology more ethical. She is looking forward to meshing her love of archaeology and museum studies with a better understanding of NAGPRA. Learning more about Mississippi history, the NAGPRA process, and working with the awesome MDAH team are some of the things she is most excited about!
- Mary Catherine Mann
Mary Catherine served as a general collections intern in Spring 2020 while completing her undergraduate degree at Belhaven University. Now, pursuing a Masters in Applied Cultural Anthropology at Mississippi State, she has decided to rejoin us for Summer 2021. Mary Catherine has a passion for working with descendant communities and museums from the Southeast, and looks forward to turn this passion into a career that furthers museums and Indigenous relationships.
When asked to reflect on her internship experience with MDAH, she said, "As archaeology intern, I was introduced to much of Mississippi's history, specifically indigenous cultures and communities that I was unaware of. During my time at MDAH, I realized the effect that museums have on creating a legacy for descendant communities in regards to their culture and identity. I am so grateful to the archaeology collections staff for giving me a chance to learn and grow in professionalization and passion!"
- Marley Cruise
Marley, a senior at the University of Mississippi is currently working as a general collections intern. Marley is majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Museum Studies and has an interest in the management of archaeology collections. During Summer 2021, she is assisting by cataloging parts of the archaeology collection and inputting data into Re:Discovery Proficio, a database system that acts as a repository for information related to collections.
Marley affirms, "I am really thrilled to be able to work in the collections, as I view them as the most integral part of the field of archaeology. I believe the work we are doing is important because it promotes ethics and understanding between archeologists and descendant communities."
- Faithlyn Seawright
Faithlyn, Summer 2021 Tribal intern, is a member of The Chickasaw Nation and has Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee ancestry. She is recent graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Museum Studies and explored her adoration for the Native art of beading. As Tribal intern, Faithlyn works to preserve and interpret Southeastern culture through working with artifacts in the archaeology collections and reviewing the Native American galleries in the Museum of Mississippi History. Faithlyn is an integral part of the team and looks forward to continuing to share cultural knowledge with MDAH staff.
In regards to the growing wave of museums and Indigenous communities working towards a more holistic view of history, Failthyn said, "I am very excited to play a part in encouraging decolonization within the museum field. Giving Indigenous people a voice is essential in creating a new journey of understanding within society."
- Matthew Prater
Matthew (Matt) is a senior at Mississippi State University, majoring in Industrial Technology and is contracted with the archeology collections staff during Summer 2021. Matt’s main project is overseeing the organization of the archaeology collections, ensuring that every box is in its proper place and accounted for in our collections database. Matt is a man of few words, but his attention to detail and strong work ethic have been extremely helpful!
- Kathrine Parker
Katherine interned in the archaeology collection in the Fall of 2020 while completing her undergraduate degree in History and English Literature from Mississippi College. When asked to reflect on her experience, she said, "Interning with the archaeology collections staff has provided an opportunity for me to do meaningful work while learning how to engage ethically and conscientiously with the past and historical present. The staff is diverse, intelligent, and empathetic, and building relationships with them has encouraged growth both professionally and personally."
After Katherine completed her internship in December 2020, she began working as a contracted employee with the archaeology collections staff. She assists with projects such as organizing photographic documentation and cataloging collections.
- Laban Blakeney
Laban is currently interning at MDAH with the archaeology collection staff. He is in his final semester at Millsaps pursuing an undergraduate degree in history with a minor in government and politics. Currently, Laban assists staff by inventorying collections. He explains he has enjoying being introduced to NAGPRA law, archaeological artifact types, and museum work in general. He will be interning with MDAH staff until his graduation in May 2021.
- Mary Catherine Mann
Mary Catherine interned with the archaeology collection staff in the Spring of 2020 while completing her undergraduate degree from Belhaven University. When asked to reflect on her internship experience with MDAH, she said, "When I was the archeology intern, I was introduced to much of Mississippi's history, specifically indigenous cultures and communities that I was unaware of, and it has since inspired and encouraged me to pursue a career that furthers museum and indigenous relationships. During my time at MDAH I realized the effect that museums have on creating a legacy for descendant communities in regard to their culture and identity. Since my time as an intern, I have completed my undergraduate work and am pursuing a Masters in Applied Cultural Anthropology with a specific interest in working with descendant communities of the Southeast and the museums that work with them. I am so grateful to the faculty in the Archeology Department for giving me a chance to learn and grow in professionalization and passion!"
- Sandra Oliveria
Sandra is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil where she worked as a historian. She moved to Mississippi in 2019 and began to volunteer in the archaeology collection. While volunteering, Sandra helped catalog a large collection. While discussing her experience, she said, "This work was amazing because it united many points of my past experience in a collection with lots of important context for the past and the present. It was also very pleasant to me to be able to learn to identify archaeological artifacts, which is something I wanted to do when I was growing up."
- Joyce Ellis
Joyce has volunteered with MDAH for many years in the Historic Objects (Museum) Collection. She enthusiastically agreed to be one of the volunteers to sew muslin bags used in the repatriation process. When she was asked to reflect on this experience, she remarked, "Sewing the muslin bags has given me a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how they will be used in a respectful and caring manner. I have often wondered about the individuals who were living so long ago, the children, the moms and das, the young men and women — how they were living their lives every day. It has been an honor beyond measure to participate in this project."
- Katie Becker
Americorps volunteer, Katie, has been stationed in Vicksburg this year, and expressed an interest in getting hands-on with history. MDAH has relied on teams of Americorps leaders for assistance with large-scale projects in the past, but Katie found she had an independent interest in artifacts. Katie joined the archaeology collections team in February 2021, and is currently helping to inventory a large assemblage of stone tools and ceramics excavated from multiple sites throughout Mississippi. When asked to talk about her experience, Katie said "I learn more about history every day and really like the positive atmosphere the staff provides." If you are interested in working alongside our team, contact us.