Welcome Center

Mon: 10am - 5pm
Wed: 10am - 5pm
Fri: 10am - 5pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed
Closed for Lunch: 12-1pm
Closed on Federal Holidays
Will open on Tuesday, Thursday, and week-ends by request.


Hours | Location | Contact | Committee | Printable Brochures
Creation of Center | Frequently Asked Questions

gallery space2013 Fall Hours

Monday Wednesday Friday Saturday Sunday
10am - 5pm 10am - 5pm 10am - 5pm Closed Closed
Closed for Lunch: 12-1pm | Closed on Federal Holidays
Will open on Tuesday, Thursday, and week-ends by request.

sign Location

155 Indian Ave.
(Corner of Indian Ave. and Barker Ave.)
Lawrence, KS 66046



interiorContact Us

Phone: 785.832.6686
Fax: 785.832.6687
Museum Curator: Vacant



Haskell Cultural Preservation Committee:

Members appointed by Haskell President in 2009: (two-year terms)

  • YoshJames Jones, Haskell Library staff
  • Joni Thompson, Haskell English Department faculty
  • Bobbi Rahder, Haskell Cultural Center curator
  • Yosh Wagoner, Trio Program
  • Theresa Battese, Haskell Property staff
  • Marei Spaola, Haskell student
  • Ashley Tso, Haskell student
  • Ron Brave, Haskell Facilities staff
  • Rhonda LeValdo, Haskell Media Communications faculty
  • Tom Spotted Horse, Haskell Housing staff
  • Lee Pahcoddy, Haskell Facilities director
  • Corey Hudson, Haskell Alumni Lawrence Chapter President

Printable Brochures

Print these before your visit and bring them along!

sanda oconnor

Creation of Haskell Cultural Center and Museum

Haskell Indian Nations University is a unique and special place. Although it originally started as an assimilation school like other government-run Indian boarding schools, Haskell's destiny was different than that of other schools. Haskell is the only Government boarding school that has evolved into a four-year university for Native students. It is also the only inter-tribal college, accepting students from all federally recognized tribes. As Haskell's students got their education and training, they stayed on to work as staff or faculty teaching other Indian students. Slowly, the school's focus changed. More and more each year, Native culture was incorporated into the curriculum. Today, Haskell alumni are proud to be from Haskell, and return for every commencement and homecoming. Haskell's story is one of sacrifice, endurance, and survival, and this story is documented and celebrated at the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum.

The Haskell Cultural Center and Museum is a living center, celebrating living Native culture. Because we wanted to dedicate our building to the first students of Haskell, we had an opening ceremony at the Haskell cemetery, where some of Haskell's first students remain.

The Haskell Cultural Center officially opened on September 14, 2002. A proposal to fund the $1.3 million building was approved by the American Indian College Fund, with donations from the B.K. Cypress Log Homes from Bronson, FL; and cash donations from the Kellogg and Lily Foundations. To place the cypress logs from Florida in Kansas, a log raising ceremony was conducted in 2001 by bringing in Florida Seminole elders to bless the site of the new building.

The building was designed by conducting talking circles with Haskell staff, students, faculty, and alumni to get input on what the Haskell community wanted to see. These ideas were incorporated into the design of the building by architect Denton Nichols of Sabatini Architects, Lawrence, KS. A committee called the Haskell Cultural Preservation Committee, and made up of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, meets monthly to make decisions about fundraising and exhibitions at the Cultural Center, as well as overseeing the other cultural sites on the campus such as murals, the cemetery, and outdoor sculptures.

The Haskell community wanted the Cultural Center to be a place of healing from the trauma of the boarding school era that the first students endured, so one of the first things we did was plant a healing garden. Among the plants in the garden are those used by different tribes to treat different illnesses such as blue verbena used to treat seizures and jaundice; as well as plants used for ceremonies and protection such as sage and sweetgrass. This past season students in faculty Chuck Haines’ ethnobotony class planted heritage seeds from different varieties of corn from various tribes. Throughout the garden are pieces of limestone from some of the first buildings at Haskell, as well as a "Peace Pole" donated by the World Peace Prayer Society of Japan that says, "May peace prevail on earth" in Navajo, English, Japanese, and Cherokee. We also have a Tree of Peace planted by Jake Swamp in a ceremony in 2003 in recognition of the coming together for peace of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The front of the lot also has a Veterans Memorial, with plaques honoring the veterans from Haskell who have served in all branches of the military service. A War Mother Memorial sculpture honors the mothers of all the mothers of all the service men and women who have served. Funds to purchase the sculpture, produced by Haskell alumnus and artist Barry Coffin, were raised by the Haskell Veterans Club.

A small outside grass arena provides a place for students to congregate or to hold small powwows and community gatherings.

The entry plaza area was designed to offer visitors a place to pass through a circular area with flagstones and a firepit to cleanse from all negative energy before passing through the V-shaped portico reminding visitors to thank the creator before entering the Cultural Center. This was a conscious effort to leave all of the trauma and negative emotions behind before coming into this place of healing.

The first floor of the 6,000 square foot building includes a lobby and visitor's desk, and a gallery space for displays about Haskell's history, Haskell veterans, and temporary gallery space for Haskell student artists.

One of the main features of the permanent gallery space is the replica of the Haskell Medicine Wheel. The real Medicine Wheel is an earthwork south of the campus created in 1992 by elders, students, and faculty to honor all Native nations. This sacred place was where some of the early Haskell students ran to get away from the strict climate at the school, and it is still used by current Haskell students as a place of worship and prayer. At the Haskell Cultural Center, an elder advised us to balance the campus by having another Medicine Wheel on the north end of the campus so we created the replica of the southern Medicine Wheel out of marmoleum, a recycled rubber tire material.

One of the reasons we were able to get $1.3 million from the American Indian College Fund was to build a state of the art environmentally controlled building for the 2,000 museum items and the 1 million archival documents and photographs that Haskell owns documenting its history. Our building has three HVAC systems to keep the temperature always at 68°F and the relative humidity at 50%. We have best practices movable storage shelves to house the archival and museum collections, as well as a digital database of the collections. A research room provides a place for Haskell alumni as well as academic researchers to get access to all of the collections.

We want the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum to be a resource for all Native people, as well as the Haskell community of staff, students, faculty, and alumni, and for researchers around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to Haskell Indian Nations?

University and Haskell Cultural Center & Museum? Please click here to find the best directions to Haskell.

This link is provided by HINU.edu.

What are the Haskell Cultural Center & Museum's operating hours?

The Cultural Center is open five days a week, Monday through the Friday 10:00am to 5:00pm. We are closed over the lunch hour, and on all Federal holidays and weekends. For more detailed information about our operating hours, please contact us at (785) 832-6686.

What is the admission fee?

There is no admission fee. We welcome every person to Haskell Cultural Center & Museum, regardless of ability to pay. We do offer visitors the opportunity to make a donation. Our suggested donation fees are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students and senior citizens.

Where can I park and is it accessible for guests with disabilities?

The Haskell Cultural Center and Museum has free parking available in front of the Cultural Center on Barker and Indian Ave. Haskell also has visitors parking throughout campus. Please see Haskell map for all available Haskell campus parking. Our Cultural Center building is accessible to all guests in wheelchairs and/or other walking assistant devices.

Does the Cultural Center accept credit cards? Is there an ATM nearby?

No. At this time the Cultural Center does not accept credit cards or debit cards. We can accept cash or personal checks only. For your convenience, there is an ATM located in Tecumseh Hall in the Eagle Nest Snack Bar and Campus Shop. There are also several ATMs throughout the Lawrence community.

How do I set up a guided tour?

Group Tours

Groups of 2 (minimum) and 40 (maximum) to the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum are strongly encouraged to schedule visits one to two weeks in advance by contacting the HCCM staff. Groups who do not wish to or are unable to schedule a visit in advance may visit any time during normal business hours for self-guided tours. Group reservations are confirmed when a tour reservation form has been received by the museum. Museum tours of specific exhibitions may be scheduled. For more information, please call 785-832-6686 or fax 785-832-6687.

School Group Tours

All school groups are required to schedule guided tours one to two weeks in advance. School groups are required to have one adult chaperone for every ten students. Chaperones must supervise and remain with their groups at all times and in all areas. If a class is divided because of limited museum space for both outside tour and museum tour, a chaperone must accompany each group. The HCCM reserves the right to refuse or terminate a tour that is inadequately supervised or that fails to conform to standards of good behavior.

PLEASE NOTE: The HCCM cannot guarantee guided tour to groups that arrive more than 30 minutes after their scheduled time.

Can Haskell Cultural Center tell me what my Native American object is worth?

The HCCM does not provide any financial appraisals of any objects or artwork. You have to take it to a licensed appraiser. Please check the Yellow Pages for "Appraisers" or "Auctioneers."

Can I reserve and/or rent the Haskell Cultural Center & Museum space for meetings or functions?

Yes. We have 50 conference chairs available and can schedule lectures and presentations that seat that many people. To find available time to reserve the Haskell Cultural Center & Museum please fill out a Space Utilization Form and submit it to the Haskell President's office for approval. There may be a fee involved.

What should be aware of before I visit Haskell Indian Nations University and Haskell Cultural Center & Museum?

Guides & Cultural Sensitivity:

The following suggestions are offered to help you enjoy your visit while respecting cultural boundaries.

Today, incorrect ideas about Native American people are everywhere. In your conversations with HCCM staff we ask you to avoid questions or comments that are based on stereotypes, such as war whooping, saying "How!" for a greeting or addressing Native women as "squaw" or men as "chief."

Personal questions such as "What is your Native name?" and "Are you a real Indian?" are not appropriate to ask. HCCM staff will be delighted to discuss why these questions are not appropriate.

Can I take pictures or videotape?

Yes. We encourage you to take photographs or use video cameras for your own use. Commercial use of photographs or videotape is prohibited without permission from the Haskell Cultural Center & Museum Curator.

Where is a good place to stay/eat near the Museum?

Haskell Indian Nations University is located near downtown Lawrence and right off of 23rd where many restaurants are located. For the best places is to eat please visit Lawrence. com for up to-date events and specials in the Lawrence community.

For more information on the nearest hotels please visit Directions to Haskell by clicking here for more details.