Museum of Northern Arizona exterior


MNA partners with many organizations. Here are just a few of our important partnerships.


MNA and NPS Partnership

Since the Museum’s inception, MNA scientists have collected objects and specimens from federal lands on the Colorado Plateau. They have studied and housed these items at MNA. Some of the lands from which the collections originate include national parks. Dr. Harold S. Colton, one of MNA’s founders, was instrumental in recommending to Congress that Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano be set aside as national monuments. He also oversaw the excavation of major southwestern archaeological sites in the 1930s such as Wupatki Pueblo and Keet Seel Pueblo at Wupatki National Monument and Navajo National Monument respectively. The history of the national parks in northern Arizona and the Museum of Northern Arizona are inextricably interrelated.

It is no wonder, then, that MNA is host to a unique, non-monetary, private-federal partnership with the Flagstaff Area National Monuments (FLAG), a group unit within the National Park Service (NPS). Since MNA was already housing the majority of the FLAG archaeological collections and stores collections from other NPS units and Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus, the two entities created a General Agreement (GA) to work together even more closely. Signed in 2011, and renewed for another ten years in 2021, the GA is a one-of-a-kind agreement for the NPS. It allows the FLAG Museum Curator to have her office and additional FLAG collections at MNA. In exchange, the FLAG Museum Curator serves as the DOI collections liaison at MNA, working 15% of her time for the MNA collections department.

To learn more about the Flagstaff Area National Monuments, please visit the following websites:

Sunset Crater Volcano

Walnut Canyon


Meet FLAG Museum Curator Gwen Gallenstein

About the FLAG Collections

Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit

The CPCESU is a cooperative network that transcends institutional boundaries to create innovative opportunities for research, education, and technical assistance in support of the management and stewardship of the Colorado Plateau’s natural, cultural, and social resources.

Nationwide, seventeen CESUs bring together scientists, resource managers, students, and conservation professionals working within federal agencies and non-federal partner institutions. Drawing upon expertise from the biological, physical, social, cultural, and engineering disciplines allows partners to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary projects.

MNA has been a partner in the CPCESU since 2005. Our research science divisions have collaborated on more than 70 projects with the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, and Department of Defense. The great breadth of experience and expertise offered by MNA’s staff is a valuable asset to our federal partners for technical training, education, logistical support, and other services.

Flagstaff Nuestras Raices

Nuestras Raices promotes Hispanic culture and history through events, gatherings, performances, and visual arts. Since 2003 MNA has partnered with Nuestras Raices each October to present Celebraciones de la Gente, a Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos celebration featuring family altars / ofrendas placed around the historic Jaime Major Golightly Courtyard, dance and music performances, talks, sugar skull decorating, and more.

Native Americans for Community Action

NACA’s Lasting Indigenous Family Enrichment (LIFE) Program focuses on building resiliency and connection between community, family, and culture, while promoting healthy lifestyle to reduce chronic disease risk factors. They have been using the Colton Community Garden at MNA to teach people about growing and preparing traditional foods. In 2021 they built a bread oven in the garden and held a series of workshops.