Marshall McKay appointed to NMAI Board of Trustees

Brooks, California (NFIC) 3-09

In a prestigious appointment, Chairman Marshall McKay of the Rumsey Band of Wintun has been named to the board of trustees for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indians (NMAI).

Chairman McKay traveled to Washington DC with Tribal Council Member James Kinter in February for the first board meeting of 2009 and will serve on the twenty-five member board until 2011.

Established in 1989 as the first national museum in the United States dedicated solely to Native Americans, the NMAI collections consists of over one million artifacts from indigenous peoples across the Western Hemisphere, including 576 tribes residing in the lower 48 states. NMAI is the sixteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and is dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans.

“I am honored to have been appointed to the board of the National Museum of American Indians,” said Chairman McKay.  “I believe in its mission to honor Native traditions and encourage contemporary expression, and I look forward to this opportunity to help advance cultural knowledge and appreciation among the thousands of visitors to our nation’s Capitol.”

"Chairman McKay will play a pivotal role in the Museum's ongoing mission to protect and foster Native cultures and empower the Indian voice,” said Kevin Gover, Director of the NMAI.  “The hard work and dedication that Chairman McKay has put forth in preserving and restoring the culture, history and arts of California's Native People is impressive and our Board recognizes this.  We believe he is going to be a great asset to the NMAI board of trustees."   

Chairman McKay has a longstanding commitment to numerous national and regional organizations including serving on the Foundation Board of the University of California, Davis, the board of trustees for the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, the inaugural board of directors of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in Minneapolis, and is a long term supporter of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In 2007 Chairman McKay was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Native American Heritage Commission of California, which is charged with protecting and preserving Native American cultural resources in California.