Native American 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

Through the Freedmen's Bureau, formerly enslaved people were able to obtain formal legal recognition of their marriages.

Innovation for Good

Newly Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Genealogists, historians and researchers can now peruse more than 3.5 million documents from the Reconstruction-era agency

Simone Biles (pictured) and Naomi Osaka, both Black athletes at the top of their sports, have been vocal about their struggles with mental health.

Race in America

The Relationship Between Race and Wellness Has Never Been More Pressing

A new Smithsonian initiative kicks off this week with a virtual summit examining these urgent issues

Walker's map is now in the Smithsonian's archives. In an 1873 report, he described relics he'd found, including "immense quantities of broken pottery."

This Map Details Florida's Disappearing Native American Landscape

A 19th-century reporter’s invaluable guide offers a look at the earliest residents of the area surrounding the Tampa Bay

In the Southwest, Morris documented what she described as a “treasure trove”—a “topography rich in large dry caves, neatly adapted to ancient dwellings and graveyards.”

Women Who Shaped History

Groundbreaking Archaeologist Ann Axtell Morris Finally Gets the Cinematic Treatment

Nearly a century after Morris excavated ancestral Native lands, filmmakers return with an inclusive approach that brings Navajo Nation onto the big screen

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

The blanket toss is one of the many events that occur during the annual World Eskimo Indian Olympics in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Tokyo Olympics

For 60 Years, Indigenous Alaskans Have Hosted Their Own Olympics

Athletes at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in Fairbanks test their mettle in events like the blanket toss, knuckle hop and ear pull

A portion of Chicago's newly renamed Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive, pictured in 2013

History of Now

Who Was Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the New Namesake of Chicago's Lake Shore Drive?

Chicago leaders voted to rename the city's iconic lakeside roadway after a Black trader and the first non-Indigenous settler in the region

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

At the foot of North Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains sits Wallace, an incredibly resilient, Old West mining town.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021

From Alabama's music capital to the self-proclaimed 'center of the universe,' these American towns are calling your name

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

To mark its 35th birthday, American Girl rereleased its original six characters (L to R): Felicity Merriman, Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya and Molly McIntire.

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

The beloved line of fictional characters taught children about American history and encouraged them to realize their potential

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

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