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In the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice is the year’s day of least sunlight, when the sun takes its lowest, shortest path across the sky. North of the Arctic Circle, it is the midpoint of the period of darkness, when even twilight doesn’t reach the horizon. We asked our Native friends to share traditions they’ve heard about the winter solstice. Their answers highlight winter as a time for storytelling. Continue reading
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Specialist Allen Kale‘iolani Hoe (U.S. Army retired), a member of the National Native American Veterans Memorial Advisory Committee, talks about his experiences as a Native Hawaiian in the U.S. military and his belief in the importance of national service. The design competition for the memorial begins November 11, 2017. Entries will be accepted through January 9, 2018. Information about the competition is available at https://nmai.us.fluidreview.com/. Continue reading
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Capt. Jefferson Keel (U.S. Army retired), Lt. Gov. of the Chickasaw Nation and co-chairman of the National Native American Veterans Memorial Advisory Committee, talks about his experiences in the U.S. military. The design competition for the memorial begins November 11, 2017. Entries will be accepted through January 9, 2018. Information about the competition is available at https://nmai.us.fluidreview.com/. Continue reading
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The museum's imagiNATIONS Activity Center staff shares books written by Native authors or in consultation with Native communities that are wonderful to share with children age 5 to 7. Learning about other people's experiences breaks down stereotypes, and thinking critically about the characters and illustrations in these books is a great way to help young children develop empathy and cultural sensitivity skills. Continue reading
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In May 2018, when the museum in New York opens its new imagiNATIONS Activity Center (iAC), one highlight will be a traditional Yup’ik kayak frame—15 feet of historically correct white spruce driftwood—made at the Qayanek Qayak Preservation Center in Kwigillingok, Alaska. The iAC will offer young museum-goers hands-on experiences that make vivid the origins and outcomes of Native innovation, including the genius of kayak-building. Continue reading
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The Thanksgiving story deeply rooted in America’s curriculum erases a monumentally sad history and reduces the Wampanoag Indians to supporting roles. The true history of Thanksgiving begins with the Indians. Continue reading
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Master Sergeant and Lipan Apache War Chief Chuck Boers (U.S. Army retired), a member of the National Native American Veterans Memorial advisory committee, talks about his experiences as a Native American in the military and the traditions that inspired his service. The design competition for the memorial begins November 11, 2017. Entries will be accepted through January 9, 2018. All information about the competition is available at https://nmai.si.edu/nnavm/memorial/. Continue reading
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Signs nailed to a mile-marker at the DAPL protest show how far people came and from how many places to stand up for treaty rights and the right of Native Nations to be consulted as governments. Continue reading
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In 1809, nearly 1,400 leaders representing four Native Nations and their allies witnessed the Treaty of Fort Wayne, ceding 2.5 million acres of tribal lands in exchange for a peace that did not last. This September, representatives of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi saw the treaty go on view at the National Museum of the American Indian. Continue reading
The Artist Leadership Program (ALP) of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) was created to rebuild cultural self-confidence, challenge personal boundaries, and foster cultural continuity while reflecting artistic diversity. The program's goals have included recognizing and promoting indigenous... Continue reading
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Exhibitions in New York City and Washington, D.C., feature works by Inuit women from the acclaimed artists' community of Kinngait, or Cape Dorset, on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Continue reading
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The museum asked people, “Does your tribe have any beliefs or protocols concerning the eclipse?” Here are some of the replies. Continue reading
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The film "Mankiller" celebrates the life and achievements of Wilma Mankiller(1945–2010), who served the interests of her people from the occupation of Alcatraz to her two terms as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and beyond. Directed and produced by Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, "Mankiller" opens Native Cinema Showcase 2017 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 15. Continue reading
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Suspension bridges, which connected regions that had previously been isolated from one another, were essential to the organization and administration of the Inka Empire and played a crucial role in the social history of the region into the 20th century. No wonder neighboring communities take pride in getting together each year to rebuild the last Inka bridge. Continue reading
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Award-winning singer Spencer Battiest (Seminole Tribe of Florida/Choctaw) is a third- or fourth-generation musician, but his cultural roots go even deeper. Continue reading
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History explains why Native nations first began to hold ceremonies and gatherings on the 4th of July. Here, American Indians share their personal thoughts on the day and how their families observe it. Continue reading
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When imagiNATIONS opens at the museum in New York City next year, grass cable used to build the Q'eswachaka Bridge on the Inka Road and a length of steel suspender rope from the Bayonne Bridge will illustrate shared engineering principles. Continue reading
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The museum in New York recently brought together Native artists working in fashion and young people interested in careers in the field for a day of creativity and mentoring. A museum intern shares her experience as well as perspectives from both students and professionals. Continue reading
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The Indian Removal Act appears in two major exhibitions at the National Museum of the American Indian—"Nation to Nation" and the upcoming "Americans." Writer Dennis Zotigh considers the museum's perspectives on the act after seeing the original document at the National Archives. Continue reading
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An unexpected (and fun) thing to see at the museum this summer, a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle introduces themes of a major new exhibition coming in the fall. Continue reading
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The museum talks with designer Sho Sho Esquiro (Kaska Dene and Cree) about her work and her sources of inspiration. Sho Sho is one of the with artists featured in the exhibition "Native Fashion Now." Continue reading
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Free and accessible programs, tours, and exhibitions at the museum in New York, Saturday, May 13, & Sunday, May 14: From a Hawaiian storybook reading and hands-on activity for families to architecture, historic collections, and contemporary Native fashion. Continue reading
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Autumn White Eyes (enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, Turtle Mountain Anishinaabe, Northern Cheyenne, and Pawnee descent) talks about poetry and spoken word as forms of oral tradition and storytelling her work, and about other artists who inspire her. Continue reading
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Learning-by-doing, a museum geographer sets out to build an outrigger canoe. The values of the voyaging canoe translate into how to live on small, isolated islands—and, perhaps, how all of us may live sustainably on Island Earth. Continue reading
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The conference "Pocahontas and After" seeks a deeper understanding of Pocahontas's life and the lasting impact of the clash of empires that took place in the heart of the Powhatan Confederacy during the 17th-century. Continue reading