American Indian History

Edward Sherriff Curtis, Diomede Mother and Child

Trove of Unseen Photos Documents Indigenous Culture in 1920s Alaska

New exhibition and book feature more than 100 images captured by Edward Sherriff Curtis for his seminal chronicle of Native American life

Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site is home to hundreds of petroglyphs and pictrographs.

Centuries-Old Pottery Could Reveal When the Crow Arrived in Wyoming

Radiocarbon dating of ceramics found at Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site may offer new insights on the region's Indigenous history

At one point, archaeologists thought the art might be modern graffiti due to its high level of detail.

Missouri Cave Filled With Ancient Artwork Sold Against Osage Nation's Wishes

The Native American tribe had hoped to preserve and protect the site, which may be associated with the Mississippian culture

An engraving of a polar bear hurling a rock at a walrus from Charles Francis Hall's 1865 book Arctic researches, and life among the Esquimaux.

Polar Bears Take Down Walruses by Hurling Rocks and Ice

New research corroborates Inuit knowledge of the animals cleverly using new tools

A view of Progressive Field, the team's home arena, in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2008

Cleveland Baseball Team to Rebrand as the Guardians

The new name references the "Guardians of Traffic"—larger-than-life statues that appear on the city's Hope Memorial Bridge

Members of the public take part in a blessing of the Lummi Nation totem pole in San Leandro, California, on June 3. The House of Tears Carvers toured the pole around the West Coast before embarking on a two-week journey to Washington, D.C.

Why Indigenous Activists Are Driving a 25-Foot Totem Pole Across the Country

Master carvers from the Lummi Nation, a Native tribe in Washington, crafted the 5,000-pound object from a single red cedar tree

A memorial at Queen's Park in Toronto was set up to honor the 215 Indigenous children discovered in unmarked graves in British Columbia. Now, after the subsequent discovery of 751 such graves in Saskatchewan, the memorial continues to grow.

751 Unmarked Graves Discovered Near Former Indigenous School in Canada

Experts estimate 4,000 to 10,000 children may have died at the schools, often from a combination of poor living conditions and disease

Richard Henry Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, poses alongside students around 1900.

Remains of Ten Native American Children Who Died at Government Boarding School Return Home After 100 Years

The deceased were students at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, whose founder's motto was "kill the Indian, and save the man"

To date, researchers have uncovered fragments of Spanish pottery, animal bones, oyster shells, jewelry beads and an array of other artifacts.

Cool Finds

Is This Florida Island Home to a Long-Lost Native American Settlement?

Excavations on Big Talbot Island may have unearthed traces of Saraby, a 16th- or 17th-century Mocama community

During the 1860s, Chinese laborers dug extensive tunnels through the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Eleven Endangered Historic Places That Tell Complex American Stories

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2021 list includes Mississippi hotel, Navajo trading post and California railroad tunnels

Tsökahovi "Louis" Tewanima became an Olympian while being forced to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The Olympic Star Who Just Wanted to Go Home

Tsökahovi Tewanima held an American record in running for decades, but his training at the infamous Carlisle school kept him from his ancestral Hopi lands

A silver shilling recently found at the former site of St. Mary's Fort, one of the first colonial settlements in British North America

Cool Finds

Rare 17th-Century Coin Featuring Charles I's Likeness Found in Maryland

Archaeologists found a telltale silver shilling at the likely site of St. Mary's Fort, a 1634 structure built by early English colonists

Game developers consulted with historians to create accurate depictions of 19th-century Native American life. The new version features playable Native characters.

Innovation for Good

New 'Oregon Trail' Game Revisits Westward Expansion From Native Perspective

Developers hired three Indigenous historians to help revamp the iconic educational computer game

A panel of the "Birthing Rock" petroglyphs in Moab, Utah, prior to its defacement with racist and obscene etchings

Racist Phrase Found Etched on Native American Petroglyphs in Utah

Unidentified criminals wrote "white power" and obscenities over thousand-year-old Indigenous markings on "Birthing Rock" in Moab

If you hike to the Minam River Lodge, thinking about the amazing food, including smokehouse bacon and foraged morels, may keep you going.

What a Vintage Guidebook Taught Me About Oregon's Past and Present

Our writer takes a quirky trip through Oregon, from a wilderness lodge to a Gilded Age saloon to a town hidden underground

The William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi Returns Hundreds of Native Americans' Remains to Chickasaw Nation

Decades after their bones were placed in storage, the state has repatriated the remains of 403 Indigenous ancestors

Archaeologists confirmed the find in late 2019 but only announced the news now due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This drawing shows what the St. Mary's Fort may have looked like.

Cool Finds

Researchers Discover Ruins of Maryland's Earliest Colonial Site, a 386-Year-Old Fort

A team used ground-penetrating radar to identify the outlines of a defensive outpost at the St. Mary's settlement

Deb Haaland speaks at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the National Native American Veterans Memorial, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

Smithsonian Voices

Indian Country Weighs In on Deb Haaland's Confirmation as Secretary of the Interior

Seen as "one giant leap for Native women, "Haaland (Laguna and Jemez Pueblos) is hailed for her experience, strength and wisdom

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Remembering Tulsa

The Unrealized Promise of Oklahoma

How the push for statehood led a beacon of racial progress to oppression and violence

Five months after a missing panel from Jacob Lawrence's Struggle series resurfaced, a second long-lost painting by the artist—pictured here in 1957—has been found.

Cool Finds

Another Long-Lost Jacob Lawrence Painting Resurfaces in Manhattan

Inspired by the recent discovery of a related panel, a nurse realized that the missing artwork had hung in her house for decades

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