Free museum passes for tribal members

Elliot Hendren, Dewayne Hendren, Nate Hendren, and Issac Suina each used their membership pass from the Powerhouse Science Center to gain access to a number of museums around the nation, free of charge.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

Still thinking about that family trip during the summer, but unsure of where to go? Thanks to a partnership between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Powerhouse Science Center (formerly Durango Discovery Museum); tribal members can now visit a vast variety of museums around the world for little-to-no cost.

The Powerhouse Science Center in Durango, Colo. is providing membership cards through the Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC), which allows tribal members to visit a selection of museums from around the United States and other countries including Australia, Bermuda, Mexico, and Sweden just to name a few of many. Tribal members can pick up these cards at the Powerhouse Science Center and use them as passes when arriving at a museum. From there, tribal members are given entry either free of charge or for a low discounted price.

Elliot Hendren, Dewayne Hendren, Nate Hendren, and Issac Suina used these membership passes to visit several science centers, including the Explora Museum and New Mexico Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque. The brothers hope other tribal members will use these passes to learn more about the sciences of the world.

“I would want people to use these passes because they can learn about different stuff,” said Elliot Hendren. “If they get it, they can do new activities and learn new things about science.”

The membership pass is absolutely free for all tribal members as part of an agreement with the Powerhouse Science Center. Members must provide their tribal membership card for verification before they get their pass. Once verified, they are given their pass as members of the ASTC with complete access to over 350 museums across the United States and other countries. There is a $40 value for the membership pass for all non-tribal members.

“We saw a lot at the museums we visited,” said Issac Suina. “We saw dinosaur exhibits, learned how animals evolved, and saw videos of how volcanoes erupted. It was educational.”

The Powerhouse Science Center is the only museum where tribal members aren’t required to use their pass. Their information will be put into the science center’s system, and from there a name can be searched when arriving for a visit.

For questions regarding obtaining a membership pass or a list of open museums, please call the Powerhouse Science Center at 970-259-9234 for more information.

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