The private Collection Hotz was purchased by the City of Zurich in 1961 and established in 1963 as the “Zurich Indian Museum” in a school building in Zurich Aussersihl.
Gottfried Hotz was succeeded by Hans Läng in 1977 who continued to extend the collection until he retired. In 1993 Denise Daenzer took over as the new curator. She and her team began to realign the museum’s focus and work,
In January 2003 the old Indian Museum moved residence, changing its name to Nordamerika Native Museum at the same time. Since then, the new museum has extended its activities and is now able to exhibit more pieces of its collection in permanent display in a larger exhibition area, and also put on one to two special shows per year.
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The team is supplemented by a number of freelance and voluntary co-workers. Many of them have served the museum for years. The museum regularly offers internships to students of the Zurich University of Art and Design; to students of the Ethnological Institute of the University of Zurich; to students of the post-graduate course in museology at the University of Basel; and to other people interested in museum work, from Switzerland and abroad.