Randall Melton

last updated 12/27/2017

Randall Melton

Collections Curator at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

47106 WILDHORSE BOULEVARD, Pendleton, Oregon, United States
HQ Phone:
(541) 966-9748

General Information




B.S. - anthropology/sociology , Eastern Oregon University


Board Member - Oregon Museums Association

Enrolled Member - Eastern Oregon University

Enrolled Member - Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

Recent News  

Oregon Museums Association - Board of Directors

OMA Board Treasurer:Randall Melton is the collection Curator for Tamastslikt Cultural Institute located on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. he is an enrolled member of the Seminole nation of Oklahoma and a graduate of Eastern Oregon University with a B.S. in anthropology/sociology.
Randall has worked for Tamastslikt since 1996 and as the Collection Curator since 2004. Randall is also one of the mentors for Oregon Heritage Commission's MentorCorps. He's excited for the opportunity to work with other museum professions from across the state and provide a tribal and eastern Oregon voice to the conversation. Randall was elected to the OMA Board is 2014.

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2015 Services - Community

Speaker: Randall Melton
Randall Melton will discuss the origins and purpose of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute as a tribal museum representing the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes. Tamástslikt is owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, located near Pendleton, Oregon. Randall is the Collection Curator for Tamástslikt Cultural Institute. He is an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and a graduate of Eastern Oregon University with a B.S. in anthropology/sociology. Randall has worked for Tamástslikt since 1996 and as the Collection Curator since 2004.

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Photos | Tulalip News

Tamastslikt curator Randall Melton says the images are evenly divided among the Cowboys - iconic western figures like General Custer and John Wayne - and Indians - images Warhol obtained from what became the National Museum of the American Indian.
Melton explains, "People kind of give you the 'Huh? How does that fit into a tribal interpretive center?' " He says this show is a departure from the museum's usual cultural program, but an intentional one. That image, of an unidentified tribal woman with an infant on her back, is one of the few in the exhibition featuring an actual Native American person, notes Curator Randall Melton. Curator Randall Melton (second from left) and others pose for a group photo as well-wishers mark Tamastslikt's 15th birthday. "It's interesting to me that he chose these people versus these objects," Melton said. "I was talking with someone who said that's how Indian people were seen, things to be moved out of the way for Westward expansion." Melton says a lot of people expressed surprise that a tribal museum might consider including a group of images with stereotypical imagery - sometimes painful imagery -for native people. He points to a panel featuring an iconic photo of Geronimo staring directly into the camera. Melton says the photo was taken after the Apache leader was forced to surrender to the U.S. Army. But Melton says gallery viewers are invited to draw their own conclusions about Warhol's treatment of the image, and consider what the artist was trying to say. "The reasoning why he put these images together the way he did," Melton said, "it's a statement on the idea of the old west, how thats more myth than fact."

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