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This profile was last updated on 9/29/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck

Wrong Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck?

Senior Advisor for Museum Program...

Phone: (301) ***-****x****  HQ Phone
Local Address: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Road
Suitland , Maryland 20746
United States

Company Description: The National Museum of the American Indian is the sixteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation,...   more

Employment History

  • Assistant Director for Public Programs
    National Museum of the American Indian
  • Senior Adviser for Museum Programs
    National Museum of the American Indian
  • Passionate Advocate
    Lumbee Tribe
  • Assistant Director for Public Programs
    Lumbee Tribe
  • American Indian Nations Director
    Children Federation
  • Assistant Director of Public Programs
  • Assistant Director for Public Programs
    the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
  • Member, Staff
    the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
  • Program Director
    National Commission on the Rights of the Child
  • Founding Director
    North Carolina Indian Cultural Center

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member
    Lumbee Tribe
  • Board Member
    Indian Head Start
  • Senior Advisor
    Museum Programs and Scholarly Research
  • Member of the Board of Trustees
    the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian


  • honorary degree
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. , History and Political Science
    Berea College
  • University of California at Berkeley
  • Columbia University’s School of International Relations
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Doctorate of Educational Administration
    VPI-State University at Blacksburg , VA.
  • Columbia University's School of International Relations
  • honorary doctor of law degree , May
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
46 Total References
Web References
The Heritage Center - Our Collection - Red Cloud Indian School, 29 Sept 2013 [cached]
In acknowledgement of The Heritage Center's activities, Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, a senior advisor for museum programs at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., included the Center as one of the top 10 "great places to honor American Indian life" in an article in USA Today.
Conference for American Indian Women of Proud Nations > Presenters/Speakers, 6 May 2011 [cached]
Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck
Helen Scheirbeck
Helen M. Scheirbeck is the Senior Advisor for Museum programs and Scholarly Research at the National Museum of the American Indian for the Smithsonian Institute.
She is a member of the Lumbee Tribe whose headquarters is Pembroke, N.C. Helen is a graduate of Berea College, K.Y. with a BA in History and Political Science. She has also attended Columbia University's School of International Relations, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of California at Berkeley. Helen has a Doctorate of Educational Administration with Public Policy emphasis form VPI-State University in Blacksburg, V.A.
Dr. Scheirbeck has had a long career working for Indian control of educational institutions, the development of Indian trial governments and communities and on issues related to Indian children and families. She was the first Indian intern to serve at the National Congress of American Indians. Helen served as a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. In that capacity, she staffed the hearings on the constitutional rights of Indians, which resulted in three pieces of national legislation. She also worked as a special assistant to the Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison and was instrumental in organizing a Center for Leadership Development.
Dr. Scheirbeck also worked in the U.S. Office of Education/DHEW where she was instrumental in organizing the Indian Education Division (formerly Title IV). Helen helped launch the Indian Tribally controlled Colleges and Universities movement. Later, she chaired the Indian Education Task Force of the American Indian Policy Review Commission. This commission brought forth a number of recommendations that have affected current national Indian education policy.
In the areas of children's rights, Dr. Scheirbeck served as the program director for the National Commission on the Rights of the Child and the White House Conference on Children, Youth and Families. She also worked in the private sector for Save the Children Federation as their American Indian Nations Director.
Prior to coming to the head Start Bureau, Helen worked in North Carolina as the founding director of the North Carolina Indian Cultural Center.
She has published and spoken extensively throughout the United States relating to American Indian rights, issues, culture and language. Helen has a deep interest in cultural regeneration and enhancement. She has extensive knowledge of Indian cultural institutions and artists and craftsman as well as spiritual leaders and their practices. Her entire career has been devoted to advocating Indian rights and self-determination and encouraging the growth and organizing Indian educational institutions.
Pro-Cultura [cached]
Helen M. Scheirbeck, Ed.D. (Lumbee) Assistant Director for Public Programs, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
- Opening Remarks and Introductions: Helen M. Scheirbeck, EdD (Lumbee) Assistant Director for Public Programs, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
IDEA » Sustainable cultural tourism at the Acoma Pueblo [cached]
For more Native American history that combine museums and some manner of live experiences, Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, senior adviser for museum programs at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. shared suggestions in a 2006 article in USA Today. They are:
Penobscot Nation Museum (Indian Island, Maine) - "The Penobscots are the original natives of Maine, and their reservation is near Old Town. Visit their small museum and see a birch-bark canoe made without screws or nails, sewn up with spruce root and waterproofed with pine pitch," Scheirbeck said. Alaska Native Heritage Center (Anchorage) - The center is a gathering place to celebrate Alaska's 11 distinct native cultures in art, song, storytelling and dance. Guided tours and sleigh rides also are available. "The train ride from Anchorage into Denali National Park, with its caribou, moose, glaciers and Mount McKinley, is a must," Scheirbeck said. Makah Nation (Neah Bay, Wash.) - Located on the Olympic Peninsula. Hiking, whale watching and fishing charters. The Makah Museum has full-size longhouse and four cedar canoes. Scheirbeck said, "The Makah are known for canoe carving, canoe racing and fishing.
"Hike to the bottom of the canyon-like valley and see Navajos farming there," Scheirbeck said. Taos Pueblo, N.M. - Multistoried adobe buildings over 1,000 years old. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
MUSEUM: Three elders, a century of inspiration | American Indian News Service, 1 Jan 2011 [cached]
When Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, Lumbee, was born in 1935, the Ku Klux Klan was a powerful force in North Carolina-she would live to play a pivotal role in getting civil rights extended to American Indian people.
These highly accomplished elder ladies of Indian Country each have had a special relationship with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Together they represent some of the many American Indian elders for whom the opening of this museum in 2004 represented a watershed moment in American Indian arts, culture and achievement.
Although Ross passed away at 99 in 2008, and Scheirbeck passed away at 75 in 2010, they, like Hinton, embodied some of the values that are of great importance to the museum, including scholarship and celebration of American Indian cultures.
Photo by Marilu Lopez-Fretts - Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (1935-2010)
Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck was a longtime champion of American Indian civil rights, a pioneer for Indian control of their own education, and a passionate advocate for the sovereignty of her Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
She served on the first Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and served as the secretary to the board for two terms. She joined the museum's staff in 2000, serving as assistant director for public programs and as senior adviser for museum programs and scholarly research before her retirement in 2007. Her greatest contribution may have been the people for whom she held a door open throughout a lifetime of public service.
The Washington Post, in her Dec. 25, 2010, obituary, quoted her from 2007, when she said, "The country needs to understand the struggle of Indians to be Indians.
A decade later Scheirbeck, then a congressional staffer, persuaded Senator Sam Ervin to convene the hearings that led to passage of the 1968 act, which extended many rights contained in the Bill of Rights to American Indians.
Scheirbeck had a hand in every major initiative in Indian education for 40 years, crafting reforms that would help tribal colleges, advocating for the passage of the Indian Education act, leading the Indian Headstart program and calling for the establishment of a museum of living cultures that would become the National Museum of the American Indian.
Working in the museum's leadership she advocated for the ways that Native children are taught within their cultures and how teaching models should be adapted for all children. Her leadership in the formation of the museum's National Education Initiative will carry her vision to millions of school children across the U.S.
In 2009, only weeks before she suffered stroke that would take her life, she recalled to Rev. Desmond Tutu a letter that she wrote him in 1962 comparing the struggles of American Indians to struggles of blacks in South Africa. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she met Tutu, and where they both received honorary degrees two years ago, these elder leaders laughed about the long ago letter, and the long journeys of both their peoples to justice.
The Washington Post quoted Scheirbeck from a 2001 interview, when she said, "I'm just a little old Indian woman, who is working hard for Indian people."
PEOPLE: Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (1935-2010)
PEOPLE: Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (1935-2010)
Washington, D.C.-Dr. Helen Maynor Scheirbeck, longtime champion of American Indian civil rights, ...
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