Curators

Dr. James Nason

Dr. James Nason is Curator Emeritus of Ethnology at the Burke Museum and has been involved with the creation, design, and development of Native American museums in the Pacific Northwest. In recent years he served as a consultant on the architectural program design and exhibit programs for the Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Dr. Nason has also provided development assistance to numerous local organizations including the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Seattle Arts Commission, and the Museum of History and Industry.

A pivotal leader in establishing the Burke Museum's Native American policies, Dr. Nason has ensured that the Burke's policies are among the most progressive in the nation. He helped establish the Burke Museum as a major facilitator in the creation of Northwest tribal museums over the past 30 years, and has led numerous tribal staff training programs. Additionally, he co-authored the new code of ethics for the American Association for State and Local History.

Throughout his career, Dr. Nason's efforts have been fundamental in the growth of the Burke Museum: he has curated 21 long-term exhibits, 20 temporary exhibits, and 6 traveling exhibits presenting information from all over the world, and in his first 15 years at the museum he doubled the size of the ethnology collections.

Dr. Nason is currently serving on the executive committee for the American Indian Museums Association, the programs committee for the National Museum of the American Indian, and is a technical advisor for the Squaxin Island Tribal Museum.

Miles R. Miller

Guest Curator Miles R. Miller is a bead artist with the Yakama/Nez Perce tribe. He was born and raised in the Yakima Valley to Geraldine A. Pinkham-Miller of Wapato and Frank R. Miller of White Swan. As a young boy his mother, late Aunt Rosalie Pinkham-Bassett, and late Grandfather Joseph Pinkham took him to the Satus Longhouse where he joined the Washat Religion. Nurtured with a traditional upbringing he learned to appreciate everything around him—the land, the river, the animals, and the birds. His late Aunt Rose taught him the Yakama legends; the elders of the longhouse taught him traditional lessons.

These early influences continue to inspire Miller as a practicing beadwork artist. Using floral and geometric motifs that the Columbia River Plateau people are well known for, he creates tradition-inspired designs in a contemporary fashion often blending semi-precious gems in his designs. Miller's beadwork has been exhibited at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Miles has been awarded several national and international museum studies collection management internships (The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology; School of American Research, Indian Arts Research Center; Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, Research Branch, Allan Houser Archives; Institute of American Indian Arts Museum; and the Smithsonian Institution's  National Museum of American History). He earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1998 and his Bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College in 2005.

Currently Miles is attending the University of Washington's Masters of Museology program where his focus is on collection management and curation. He intends to graduate in 2008.

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White Hat and Brown Hat
Patl’aapa
Nez Perce/Yakama, 1932 and Plateau, 1930