IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Jessie Ryker-Crawford

Jessie Ryker-Crawford (White Earth Anishinaabe) is Chairwoman of the Museum Studies program.


Jessie Ryker Crawford

She is an alumna of IAIA with an AFA in both Museum Studies and Studio Arts. Jessie Ryker-Crawford then received a BA in Anthropology with a minor in American Indian Studies from the University of Washington. She holds a Masters in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington and, at that institution, is finishing her graduate studies as a PhD student, writing her dissertation on the correlation between traditional Native American practices of object conservation and Western-based collections care, and the Indigenous movements within museology and curation.

Major Professional Activities

Jessie Ryker-Crawford has presented material on her studies at various conferences including the American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the Native American Art Studies Association, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Her essay on the art work of C. Maxx Stevens is published in Into the Fray: The Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art 2005 biannual publication.

Selected Awards

2008-2009 Mellon Research Fellowship
2007 IAIA Faculty-of-the-Year
2007 AICF and Nyswander Faculty Development Program Grant
2004 AICF and Lynn Reyer Award for the Betterment of Native American Tribes
2003-2004 UW Olson Fellowship
2002-2003 UW Minority Achievement Program Research Assistantship

Teaching Statement

“My vision is to prepare students for the dynamic and changing world of museums and cultural centers, to allow them as new professionals within these fields to mold, shape and form the ways in which Native peoples are presented, are honored, are celebrated. We are, at this time in history, appropriating the museum genre for our own oral and written accounts of ourselves. We are reshaping what it means to be Native to this land and what it means to be an Indigenous person of worth. The next storytellers of our generation – the artists, the writers, the designers and the curators – are passing through the doors of IAIA. It is my great honor to be here as it enfolds.”


Jessie Ryker-Crawford, Museum Studies
Core Faculty
(505) 424-2361