Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian DC Museum: 4th St & Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560 10am-5:30pm Daily NY Museum: 1 Bowling Green, NYC, NY 10004 10am-5pm; Thurs Til 8pm
(9792)

The National Museum of the American offers free admission and has two main locations, its museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and the George Gustav Heye Center in New York City. It is a museum of living cultures dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Social Media Policy: http://s.si.edu/emVrm

Tomorrow—Saturday, May 16—from 2 to 8 pm EDT, join us at the Digital Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM).This year, our fri...
05/15/2020
Digital AMIM — Abbe Museum

Tomorrow—Saturday, May 16—from 2 to 8 pm EDT, join us at the Digital Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM).

This year, our friends at the Abbe Museum in Maine are holding their Indian Market online. Market-goers can meet Native American artists from Maine and throughout the country and learn more about their process and body of work, including work for sale.

In addition to spotlighting artists, Digital AMIM presents performances and educational programming. See the day's schedule and participating artists, performers, and educators at the link.

From 8 to 9 pm, in partnership with the Upstander Project, the Abbe presents a special, online screening of the film "Dear Georgina." Passamaquoddy elder Georgina Sappier-Richardson journeys into an unclear past to better understand herself and her cultural heritage. Learn more and reserve your virtual seat at https://bit.ly/35koFXt

Ways to connect:

Digital AMIM goes live at 2 pm. The event can be viewed through the Zoom platform, on the Abbe’s YouTube channel, or via Facebook Live.

Zoom webinar link: https://bit.ly/2Z3fIAy

Abbe Museum on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3cvxH6z

The Abbe, a museum of Wabanaki art, history, and culture, is a Smithsonian Affiliate. For more on the affiliate program, visit Smithsonian Affiliations.

We are extremely excited about Digital AMIM. The Abbe Museum's mission is ‘Inspiring new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit.’ The health crisis created a situation where the public can't come to visit us, so with Digital AMIM we're bringing our mission into your homes. We invit...

🔥 Today at 7 pm EDT: Kent Monkman (At Home): On Art and ResilienceRegistration (free, but required): https://smithsonian...
05/13/2020

🔥 Today at 7 pm EDT: Kent Monkman (At Home): On Art and Resilience

Registration (free, but required): https://smithsonian.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_en_-oOxoQjSrm10pKSnC5g

After you register, you'll receive an email with detailed instructions on how to watch the discussion and how to submit questions for Kent and curator Stéphane Aquin.

This program is presented by the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, with support from our museum. See more at https://www.facebook.com/events/2607841149456746/

Photo: Kent Monkman (Fisher River Cree Nation, b. 1965). “Resurgence of the People," from “mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People),” 2019, created for the Great Hall of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Tune in tomorrow evening, Tuesday, May 12, at 8 Eastern time, when CSPAN-3 rebroadcasts an interview with Director Kevin...
05/12/2020
Washington Journal: Kevin Gover Discusses Native Americans & American History

Tune in tomorrow evening, Tuesday, May 12, at 8 Eastern time, when CSPAN-3 rebroadcasts an interview with Director Kevin Gover (Pawnee) on Native Americans and American History. Kevin speaks from the main gallery of the museum's award-winning exhibition "Americans."

Or watch online at the link.

National Museum of the American Indian Director Kevin Gover discusses the museum's history, artifacts and issues of importance to Native Americans today.

“My husband’s grandmother, she used to do a lot of beadwork and she was fast…. And she used to tack down every bead. I s...
05/10/2020

“My husband’s grandmother, she used to do a lot of beadwork and she was fast…. And she used to tack down every bead. I said ‘Grandma, you could skip and do every other one.’ She said, ‘No, that’s not the way to do it.’ You know, in our language, she said, ‘Don’t try to take shortcuts!’” —Eliza Jones (Koyukon Athabaskan, b. 1938)

To the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and other mother figures who taught us to do things the right way (or tried to), Happy Mother's Day!

Image: Tanana Athabaskan slippers, ca. 1910. Nenana, Doyon Native Corporation, Alaska. 23/3079

Eliza Jones's quotation is from Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge (https://alaska.si.edu), a collaboration among the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, and our museum.

Doyon, Limited #MothersDay

❤️ Native American friends share Mother’s Day memories and traditions, from flowers and dinner, to four generations’ bei...
05/08/2020
How Do American Indians Celebrate Mother's Day?

❤️ Native American friends share Mother’s Day memories and traditions, from flowers and dinner, to four generations’ being together, to taking Mother bull-riding. New on Smithsonian Magazine:

"From Yukon, Oklahoma: When my mother and grandmother were living, my family and children always came home to spend a weekend of attending a local tribal powwow, church on Sunday, and a special dinner afterward. Mothers were honored at all of these special events. As we do among tribes, we also recognized all women who filled a mother’s role to others. I always felt like I had many mamas."

Whether you spend this Sunday visiting with family—via technology, if that’s what’s safe—or remembering earlier Mother’s Days together, we hope the day brings you warmth and love.

In the early 20th century, Native people responded to the proclamation of Mother’s Day with powwows, ceremonies, rodeos, feasts, and songs that honor Native mothers. How do American Indians celebrate today? Recognizing that family traditions for many of us will be different this year, Native frien...

05/08/2020
String Game

In this video, made to share with children, Cultural Interpreter Michaela Pavlat (Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians) demonstrates a simple string game.

For more examples of string games used in storytelling, check out this presentation at the National Museum of the American Indian by Ed Tiulana (Inupiaq/Tlingit): https://bit.ly/SugpiaqStorytelling

Connect with Smithsonian digital resources for young minds of all ages —3D models, podcasts, and more, including Michaela's video—at https://si.edu/cares

Smithsonian Education #SmithsonianCares

Ian Kuali'i (Native Hawaiian and Mescalero Apache) is known both for his cut-paper art and for his background in hip hop...
05/08/2020
From aspiring breakdancer to accomplished artist, Ian Kuali’i traces his path so far

Ian Kuali'i (Native Hawaiian and Mescalero Apache) is known both for his cut-paper art and for his background in hip hop and graffiti. In this profile, Ian talks about about the creative influences in his life and finding his space in urban contemporary and Indigenous art.

NEW on Smithsonian Magazine's Smithsonian Voices.

#AsianPacificAmericanHeritageMonth #APAHM Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Ian Kuali’i (Native Hawaiian and Mescalero Apache) is known both for his cut-paper art and for his background in hip hop and graffiti. In this profile, the museum’s Justin Mugits talks to Ian about the creative influences in his life and finding his space in urban contemporary and Indigenous art...

❤️ Today is National Nurses Day. To nurses everywhere, thank you for your skill, compassion, and commitment to care and ...
05/07/2020

❤️ Today is National Nurses Day. To nurses everywhere, thank you for your skill, compassion, and commitment to care and healing.

“All of the disappointments and heartaches over my failures were worthwhile when they were balanced by the trust and friendship and love.” —Margaret R. Elliott, talking about working as a nurse at Standing Rock. Miss Elliott, who collected this dress, worked on the reservation from 1918 to 1922.

Photo: Hunkpapa Lakota dress, circa 1910. Cannon Ball, Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota. 23/2977

#NationalNursesDay #NationalNursesWeek #InternationalNursesDay May 12

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This year, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is a...
05/02/2020
Standing Together Against Xenophobia | Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This year, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is asking us all to stand together against xenophobia, and to foster a sense of belonging and solidarity across communities through dialogue, education, and action.

At the link below, you can read the center’s statement against anti-Asian xenophobia and racism in the Untied States—the rise of vandalism, student bullying, online hate speech, violence, and harassment.

Throughout the month, the center is posting resources that address xenophobia, including our museum’s inquiry-based approach for teachers and students, “How Do Native People and Nations Experience Belonging?”

The center will also share work by leading artists, scholars, educators, curators, archivists, and community organizers to support self-education and self-care. The hope is that these cumulative references will help us generate understanding and reflection, overcome fear, and find empowerment, motivation, and solace even in these difficult times.

#AAPIHM #NK360 #APAHeritageMonth

The world is undergoing tremendous change as COVID-19 reshapes daily life across the globe. At the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, we embrace

04/30/2020
Smithsonian Education

Smithsonian Education

Learn how to use the Smithsonian Learning Lab (https://learninglab.si.edu), a free platform that gives users access to millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian and the tools to create learning experiences with them. This interactive training session will demonstrate how the Lab works with a focus on how to discover resources, create Learning Lab collections, and share your creations with others.

Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek Nation) will serve a second term as the United States’ poet laureate, the Library of Congress ...
04/30/2020
Joy Harjo: 'What joins us together is poetry'

Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek Nation) will serve a second term as the United States’ poet laureate, the Library of Congress announced this morning. At the link, you can hear her read her poem “Perhaps the World Ends Here,” and talk about its inspiration—memories of sitting around the kitchen table.

During the coming year, Harjo will work in particular on a new project called “Living Nations, Living Words: A Map of First Peoples Poetry,” a digital interactive map of contemporary Native poets, including videos of them reading their work. “Living Nations, Living Words” will become part of the Library’s historical collection of maps, which is among the largest in the world.

Joy Harjo #PoetryMonth

Harjo reflects on her childhood, the way the kitchen table unites us and the renewed connections she hopes will emerge out of this difficult time.

Gedion Caseo Fernandez Nolasco (Quechua, b. 1964). "Chuncho," 2014. Lima, Peru. 26/9347“During my childhood, the Ashanin...
04/30/2020

Gedion Caseo Fernandez Nolasco (Quechua, b. 1964). "Chuncho," 2014. Lima, Peru. 26/9347

“During my childhood, the Ashaninka would come to our village with their animals to sell their handmade necklaces and play their panpipes in front of the church. They no longer come to Quinua because in the 1980s, internal violence drove them away. Here, I want to remember those lost ways and the people who were once part of our rich, multicultural country.” —Gedion Fernandez

Gedion Fernandez (Quechua) began his formal training in ceramics in high school. His life-size ceramic musicians, soldiers, and other figures celebrate the social and cultural landscape of the village where he grew up, but also document Peru’s sometimes violent past. A ceramicist and instructor in ceramics, he has held leadership positions in Peruvian artisan guilds.

Gedion Fernandez’s sculpture is on view at the museum in New York in “Ancestral Connections.” This ongoing exhibition explores how ten contemporary artists draw on aspects of their heritage to create new and compelling works of art.

While our museums in New York and Washington are closed to support the effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, we’ll share art and collections objects from the exhibitions and information about the museum's resources online. You can see more art from this exhibition by searching for #AncestralConnectionsNYC.

Smithsonian Magazine looks at the history of Land O' Lakes' Native American marketing image, MIa. The character was firs...
04/29/2020
Land O'Lakes Drops the Iconic Logo of an Indigenous Woman From Its Branding

Smithsonian Magazine looks at the history of Land O' Lakes' Native American marketing image, MIa. The character was first used in 1928, redrawn by artist Patrick DesJarlait (Ojibwe) during the 1950s, and has now been retired.

Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche)—co-curator of "Americans," the museum's award-winning exhibition on the complicated history of Native American representations in pop culture—shares his reaction to Land O' Lakes' new packaging:

“Not going to lie: I will miss her. Airbrushing Mia from the butter section is good, because this is straight up objectification of a Native woman. [But it’s also] “bad, because she had so many fans (Indian and others), and because she is replaced with nothing. Just emptiness.

“One wishes for an alternative besides stereotype or erasure.”

You can see "Americans" online at https://americanindian.si.edu/americans/#

The story behind the image, and its removal, led to mixed reactions from the public, including native communities

“As the father of an emergency room doctor, I am so grateful to all the healthcare workers who keep us safe. I know my s...
04/25/2020

“As the father of an emergency room doctor, I am so grateful to all the healthcare workers who keep us safe. I know my sentiments are shared across the entire Smithsonian community. Tonight, we turn some of our Smithsonian lights blue to say, ‘Thank you.’”
—Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian

We’ve organized this thank you as a virtual tour of lighted museums, from our building on the National Mall facing the US Capitol, west along the National Mall to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, then north through downtown Washington to the National Zoo. The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum is in New York.

Earth Optimism 2020 continues live online today with presentations from 11 am to 8 pm Eastern time, followed by short fi...
04/24/2020

Earth Optimism 2020 continues live online today with presentations from 11 am to 8 pm Eastern time, followed by short films and videos until midnight.

Our museum is especially proud to sponsor the participation of climate activist Katherine Quaid, on the panel “Growing Resilience.” From 1:30 to 1:55 pm, women from three different professional perspectives share common themes for making modern food systems resilient, nourishing, and equitable.

A citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Katherine became an advocate for climate justice through her ties to the lands of her ancestors and the many communities nationally and around the world fighting for a healthy future.

Tune in to the discussion and join the conversation using #EarthOptimism.

For the 50th anniversary of #EarthDay, Smithsonian Magazine challenged scientists, historians, researchers, astrophysici...
04/23/2020
Fifty Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since the First Earth Day

For the 50th anniversary of #EarthDay, Smithsonian Magazine challenged scientists, historians, researchers, astrophysicists, curators and research scholars across the Smithsonian Institution to identify something about the planet that has been revealed since April 22, 1970. Here are 50 answers.

On April 22, 1970, Americans pledged environmental action for the planet. Here’s what scientists and we, the global community, have done since

🌎 If you or a student in your household has free time during the day and is interested in conservation and the environme...
04/22/2020
Earth Optimism 2020 Summit Schedule

🌎 If you or a student in your household has free time during the day and is interested in conservation and the environment, Earth Optimism 2020 is presenting Deep Dive Digital Workshops today through Friday on Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Register and tune in using the link below.

Then come back tonight between 6pm and midnight when Earth Optimism formally begins with a program of films and short videos.

Today's Deep Dives:

9am–12pm ET
Global Cooperation for the Environment: Policy, Technology, and Action. Hosted by the Wilson Center

3:30–4:30pm ET
Road ecology: Are we taking the right turns? Hosted by the
Smithsonian Center for Conservation and Sustainability and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

#EarthDay #EarthOptimism Smithsonian Earth Optimism

Click "See More" to view the Deep Dive Workshops. Some require pre-registration, so we encourage you to review the sessions ahead of time. #seeMore

At a time of uncertainty, when people are seeking ways to contribute to a better future, we look forward to hearing stor...
04/21/2020

At a time of uncertainty, when people are seeking ways to contribute to a better future, we look forward to hearing stories of conservation successes at the Smithsonian Earth Optimism digital summit.

Take part free online Wednesday, April 22, through Friday, April 24, with speakers, films, and short videos. Rebroadcasts Saturday and Sunday.

For more information and to register for the summit's deep dives, beginning Wednesday morning, see https://earthoptimism.si.edu

The collections of the National Museum of the American Indian include thousands of objects and images acquired during ex...
04/19/2020

The collections of the National Museum of the American Indian include thousands of objects and images acquired during expeditions conducted or sponsored by our predecessor institution, the Museum of the American Indian–Heye Foundation. While some expeditions are well documented in collectors’ field notes and early publications, much of the information about specific objects or the individuals associated with them was never recorded on the museum’s catalog cards. A long-term, multi-institutional project to reconstruct objects’ acquisitions histories is reuniting this information with the collections. Here are a few things we’ve learned so far.

NEW on Smithsonian Magazine's Smithsonian Voices:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-american-indian/2020/04/18/spotlight-on-collections-expeditions/

“Osage worldview is based on the division of the earth and sky; it represents the order, balance, and duality found in l...
04/18/2020

“Osage worldview is based on the division of the earth and sky; it represents the order, balance, and duality found in life, nature, and the universe. I use this as metaphor in my work and base numerous pieces on the premise of these beliefs.” —Anita Fields

As a child in Hominy, Oklahoma, Anita Fields (Osage) found that making art was intuitive. While she has worked in other media, she is best known for her ceramics—like this pottery sculpture—and textiles, including Osage ribbonwork.

In much of her work, Fields honors Native women’s strength and resourcefulness. Pieces from her Native American Dresses series abstract details from traditional women’s clothing and bring them into the present, emphasizing the persistence of Native pride, dignity, and values in an ever-changing world.

Images: Anita Fields (Osage, b. 1951). Sculpture (two views), 1995. Stillwater, Oklahoma. 26/9244

Fields’s sculpture is on view at the museum in New York in “Ancestral Connections.” This ongoing exhibition explores how ten contemporary artists draw on aspects of their heritage to create new and compelling works of art.

While our museums in New York and Washington are closed to support the effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, we’ll share art and collections objects from the exhibitions and information about the museum's resources online. You can see more art from this exhibition by searching for #AncestralConnectionsNYC.

Address

4th St. And Independence Ave. SW
Washington D.C., DC
20013

Washington, D.C. Museum: METRO -- L'Enfant Plaza (Green/Yellow/Blue/Orange lines) exit "Maryland Ave/Museums" Federal Center SW (Blue/Orange lines) New York Museum: Subway -- 4/5 to Bowling Green; 1 to Rector Street or South Ferry; 2/3 to Broad Street; J/Z to Wall Street; R to Whitehall Bus -- M5, M15 or M20

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:30
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:30
Thursday 10:00 - 17:30
Friday 10:00 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 17:30
Sunday 10:00 - 17:30

Telephone

(202) 633-1000

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