Associate Curator of Education: Indigenous Studies

Company Name: 

High Desert Museum


59800 South Hwy 97
Bend, OR 97702

Contact Name: 

Christina Hannigan


5413824754 ext. 391


Job Description: 

Title: Associate Curator of Education: Indigenous Studies

Division: Education

Classification: Full-time Exempt

Reports To: Curator of Education

Supervises: Teen Volunteers and Interns

Starting Salary: $45,000 annually


High Desert Museum – Organization Description

The High Desert Museum is a non-profit organization focused on the biotic and cultural elements of the High Desert region of the Western United States. Located near Bend, Oregon, on the edge of the beautiful Deschutes National Forest, the Museum melds the natural history of diverse habitat types with human history of the environment into a unique blend of indoor and outdoor exhibits, living history and both living and historical collections.


Job Summary – Associate Curator of Education: Indigenous Studies

The Associate Curator of Education: Indigenous Studies is responsible for the design, implementation and assessment of a variety of in person and virtual educational programs focusing on an exploration of the High Desert’s Indigenous history since time immemorial. Well-qualified candidates must be energetic, innovative, reflective, flexible, resourceful, enthusiastic, and with an entrepreneurial attitude to create and present exciting programs for broad audiences with an emphasis on PreK-12 students and teachers.


Importantly, we recognize and honor that the qualifications required to excel in this position can come from a range of both professional and lived experiences. Below we describe what we believe to be important qualifications for a candidate to have while remaining open to the diversity of experiences that can lead to these skill sets. Position descriptions are often presented in a way that leaves qualified candidates feeling unwelcome, intimidated, uncomfortable and/or unqualified to apply. Recognizing that, we strongly encourage anyone who feels passionate about this work and believes they have what it takes to thrive in this role to apply.



  • A bachelor’s degree in a field appropriate for the position, e.g. education, Indigenous/Native American studies, environmental sciences, anthropology, history, etc.
  • Deep knowledge about Indigenous ways of knowing
  • Have a passion for and commitment to teaching and learning about the High Desert’s Indigenous history since time immemorial
  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience teaching students in grades PreK-12 in formal or informal settings
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in teaching and classroom management of children of all ages
  • Working knowledge of developing and implementing informal education programs
  • Experience developing interdisciplinary, inquiry-based curriculum using a culturally relevant pedagogical approach
  • Knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards, Oregon’s K-12 social sciences standards and Oregon’s Senate Bill 13 Tribal History/Shared History curriculum
  • Ability to communicate and work collaboratively with a diverse range of groups and institutions, including schools, museums, non-profits, and tribal nations to develop and implement educational programs
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, justice, equity, inclusion, accessibility and diversity practices
  • Excellent organizational, communication and writing skills
  • Ability to teach a variety of subjects and grade levels effectively and energetically
  • Detailed-oriented while handling multiple projects and deadlines



  • Experience teaching using a digital platform
  • Valid teaching license

The position requires some evenings and weekends, working inside and outside, and handling live animals.


Responsibilities and Tasks

  1. Collaborate with Museum staff and regional partners to develop, lead and assess in person and virtual learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers focusing on an in-depth exploration of the High Desert’s Indigenous history since time immemorial.
  2. Work with the Education Department to develop, implement and evaluate innovative programs, including camps, workshops and special events, aimed at engaging audiences of all ages.
  3. Work with the Exhibitions Department and community advisors to develop and implement engaging programs for all audiences in connection with the Museum’s exhibitions and permanent collections with focus on those related to the Indigenous people of the Columbia Plateau.
  4. Develop on-line supplementary educational resources, curricula and activities to support museum-based programs.
  5. In collaboration with Program’s Department, develop and implement new strategic community engagement and education programs to extend our reach and deepen our impact throughout Central Oregon and beyond.
  6. Work with regional institutions to develop collaborative public programs.
  7. Collaborate with Museum staff on the development of evaluation protocols for educational programs.
  8. Serve as a mentor teen volunteers and interns.
  9. Successfully satisfy animal handling training requirements and maintain animal handling protocols.
  10. Keep abreast of current educational research and best practices as related to the position.
  11. Maintain and supervise the Education Department’s teaching collection and supplies.
  12. Demonstrate a positive professional presence, inspiring and building confidence both within the Museum and outside the institution among a broad range of constituencies.
  13. In coordination with the Communications Team, represent the Museum as needed in a variety of mediums, including social media, print, photography and video, in materials produced by both the Museum and by journalists sharing the story of the Museum’s work.
  14. Other duties as assigned.


Please send resume and cover letter to the High Desert Museum, attention Human Resources.



The High Desert Museum is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.




To explore the High Desert’s unique landscape, cultures, wildlife, history and arts,

connecting our visitors to the past and helping them discover their role in the present and responsibility to the future.