American Indian Museum

The First Americans Museum opened in Oklahoma City this month.

A Brand-New Museum in Oklahoma Honors Indigenous People at Every Turn

The team behind the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City incorporated the traditions and spiritual beliefs of 39 tribal nations into its design

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

An interactive lunch counter at the African American History Museum lets visitors grapple with moral dilemmas of the civil rights movement.

Race in America

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on Why the Smithsonian Is Talking About Race

In a deeply divided moment, a new initiative aims to bring Americans together by reckoning with our racial past

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

This pre-Inca chest ornament dates to between roughly 800 B.C. and 1 A.D. In 1986, the City of Cusco selected the disc's design as its official symbol and coat of arms.

A Golden Symbol of National Identity Returns to Peru

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has sent an ancient, pre-Inca breastplate back home

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

Incan qeros from the National Museum of the American Indian. The white pigment “often appears yellowish over time,” says Emily Kaplan.

How the Inca Discovered a Prized Pigment

The centuries-old history of titanium white

In “Deep Time,” curators used each fossil, including the sea scorpion Eurypterus lacustris, to weave a detailed timeline of Earth’s history.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on What Makes for a Great Museum Exhibition

A well-curated show makes the unknown feel familiar—and reveals the unexpected

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

Amelia Joe-Chandler, Hogan Teapot, 2013. Hammered copper and cast silver. 7.5 x 11 x 9cm. National Museum of the American Indian, 26/9781.

Smithsonian Voices

Learn the Powerful Story Behind This Handcrafted Diné (Navajo) Teapot

From the storage vaults of the National Museum of the American Indian, a small, copper sculpture points to a different sense of place

The otherworldly terrain dazzled early explorers. In 1827, trapper Daniel Potts noted that geysers erupted with a roar like “that of thunder.”

The Lost History of Yellowstone

Debunking the myth that the great national park was a wilderness untouched by humans

Hank Adams carries a letter from the White House to Chief Frank Fools Crow (Oglala Lakota) during the siege of Wounded Knee. Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, 1973.

Smithsonian Voices

In Memory of Hank Adams, 'The Most Important Indian'

The museum mourns the passing December 21 of Hank Adams (Assiniboine–Sioux, 1943–2020)

“Hogan in the Snow,” ca. 1985. Painted by Robert Draper (Diné [Navajo], 1938–2000). Chinle, Navajo Nation, Arizona. 26/6481

Smithsonian Voices

Christmas Across Indian Country, During the Pandemic and Before

This extraordinary year, we asked how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting people’s families and communities

Volunteers with the Navajo & Hopi Families Covid-19 Relief Fund distribute food and other essential supplies to isolated communities and farmsteads on Navajo Nation and Hopi lands. As part of the Smithsonian's virtual program 24 Hours in a Time of Change, Shandiin Herrera (Diné)—seated on the left, wearing a Duke University sweatshirt—describes how this grassroots response to the COVID-19 pandemic came together last March and shares her experiences as the fund's volunteer coordinator in Monument Valley, Utah.

Smithsonian Voices

Smithsonian Wants Your 2020 Stories

This Friday, December 11, 2020, ten Smithsonian museums and cultural centers offer a moment for reflection and sharing

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Smithsonian Voices

Seven Native American Chefs Share Thanksgiving Recipes

These original Thanksgiving foods are far different from the modern celebrations, but tradition is never static

Smithsonian locations closing November 23, 2020 include: The National Zoo, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo to Close Due to Increased Cases of Covid-19

In an official statement, the Institution announced a temporary closing of all its public facilities beginning November 23

Theresa Secord (Penobscot, b. 1958). Ear of corn basket, 2003. Maine. 26/1694. By looking at Thanksgiving in the context of living cultures, we can make the holiday a more meaningful part of teaching and learning, in school and at home.

Smithsonian Voices

Five Ideas to Change the Way Thanksgiving Is Taught in Classrooms and at Home

Students can use Thanksgiving and their new tools for thinking about culture to learn and share more about their own family’s history and traditions

On his last day of service in Vietnam in 1963, Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho) poses in Da Nang carrying his rappelling rope that he used to descend from helicopters to clear landing fields. Pratt is the designer of the National Native Americans Veterans Memorial.

The Remarkable and Complex Legacy of Native American Military Service

Why do they serve? The answer is grounded in honor and love for their homeland

Doña Ofelia Esparza decorates the ofrenda "Sacred Connections," created with her daughter Rosanna Esparza Ahrens for the 2019 celebration of El Día de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington.

Smithsonian Voices

Celebrate the Day of the Dead With Music, Butterfly Science and Other Activities

The roots of el Día de los Muertos are millennia-deep in Indigenous Mexico

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