Former Whanganui Regional Museum curator Michelle Horwood will return on November 11 to give this year's Samuel Drew Lecture.

It's free and starts at 5.30pm in the museum's Davis Lecture Theatre.

Her title is: An Interesting Relationship on the Whanganui River: Ngā Paerangi and Charles Smith. It's about European settler Charles Smith, who collected taonga from Kaiwhāiki in the lower reaches of the river in the mid 1800s.

The taonga tell the tale of iwi:settler relations on the river at that time.

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Mr Smith's large collection of taonga was sold to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England, in 1923. Research revealed where the items were from and when they were collected.

Dr Horwood was a curator at Whanganui Regional Museum for more than 20 years. During that time one of her main focuses was building relationships between the community and the museum's collection.

In 2015 she got the job of lecturing at Toihoukura/ the Eastern Institute of Technology in Gisborne. She teaches in the Graduate Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies programme.

The annual Samual Drew Lecture recognises the founder and first director of the museum.