Native American History

“The Great Divide” explores how ideas that came to the fore during the Enlightenment at once blurred social hierarchies and reinforced them, particularly along lines of gender and race. 

These 18th-Century Shoes Underscore the Contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment

An exhibition at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum examines fashion's role in supporting social hierarchies that emerged during the landmark intellectual movement

On Calvert Island, British Columbia, the subtle rock line of an extant clam garden is a reminder of how Indigenous peoples turned the sea into a shellfish garden.

How Indigenous Sea Gardens Produced Massive Amounts of Food for Millennia

Communities created bountiful food without putting populations at risk of collapse

Jim Thorpe in 1912

Jim Thorpe's 1912 Olympic Gold Medals Are Finally Reinstated

Officials removed the Native American athlete's victories from Olympic records in 1913

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Untold Stories of American History

Untold Stories of American History

Explore the lives of little-known changemakers who left their mark on the country

Members of the Ponca delegation pose with the repatriated pipe tomahawk.

Good News

Harvard Returns Chief Standing Bear's Pipe Tomahawk to the Ponca Tribe

The Native American leader gifted the artifact to his lawyer in a landmark 1879 civil rights case

View of Nehalem Beach, where the ship was wrecked, with Neahkahnie Mountain in the distance

Cool Finds

Rare Timbers From 17th-Century Spanish Shipwreck Discovered Off Oregon Coast

The Manila galleon—and its cargo of silk, porcelain and beeswax—vanished en route to Mexico in 1693

Members of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps pose on Minerva Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in 1896.

Untold Stories of American History

The Black Buffalo Soldiers Who Biked Across the American West

In 1897, the 25th Infantry Regiment Bicycle Corps embarked on a 1,900-mile journey from Montana to Missouri

Located alongside New Jersey’s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

Part of the Field Museum’s new permanent exhibition "Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories."

Past Imperfect

Field Museum Confronts Its Outdated, Insensitive Native American Exhibition

Co-created with Indigenous partners, the new permanent installation reckons with past harm

Red ocher has served many history, from painting cave walls to tanning hides.

Cool Finds

This 12,000-Year-Old Wyoming Quarry Could Be North America's Oldest Mine

The state's archaeologists believe people quarried red ocher at Powars II starting 12,840 years ago

Overhead view of Jamestown after a Nor'easter in October 2021

Jamestown, North America's First Permanent English Colony, Could Soon Be Underwater

Flooding risk has landed the site on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of most endangered places

Employees at an Oklahoma recycling center found several pieces of a stolen bronze sculpture depicting ballerina Marjorie Tallchief.

Thieves Stole, Hacked Up and Sold Sculpture That Honored Famed Native American Ballerina

The culprits sawed the life-sized bronze tribute to Marjorie Tallchief into pieces

Native American artists created the cave drawings sometime between 660 and 949 C.E.

3-D Scans Reveal Gigantic Native American Cave Art in Alabama

A new analysis identifies four life-size human figures and an 11-foot rattlesnake drawn on the ceiling of an unnamed cavern

The only available photograph of America Newton, a formerly enslaved woman who ran a laundry business out of her cabin in Julian, California, dates to around 1910.

The Trailblazing Black Entrepreneurs Who Shaped a 19th-Century California Boomtown

Though founded by Confederates, Julian became a place of opportunity for people of color—and a model for what the U.S. could look like after the Civil War

Dance of the Heyoka by Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Dakota), 1954

Who Gets to Define Native American Art?

A pivotal letter from Oscar Howe, whose work is the focus of a new exhibition, demanded the right to free expression and the art world began to listen

Cherokee citizens can now collect wild indigo, river cane, wild onion, hickory, bloodroot and other plants at Buffalo National River.

Good News

Cherokee Nation Members Can Now Gather Plants on National Park Land

A new agreement between the tribe and the National Park Service allows Cherokee citizens to collect plants with cultural and medicinal significance

Archaeologists and members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe worked together on the project, which revealed the longstanding genetic roots of the region's Native peoples. 

Innovation for Good

This Native American Tribe Wants Federal Recognition. A New DNA Analysis Could Bolster Its Case

The new findings could help Mukwema Ohlone prove they never went "extinct"

An 1865 stereograph image of the so-called Sparrow-Hawk, taken just two years after the shipwreck was discovered on a Cape Cod beach

Cool Finds

Is This New England's Oldest Known English Shipwreck?

New research suggests the vessel is the mysterious "Sparrow-Hawk"

The anchor of Industry, a whaling ship that sank in 1836 in the Gulf of Mexico 

Cool Finds

A Shipwreck, a Robot and an Archival Treasure Hunt Reveal the Diverse History of the Whaling Industry

Free Black Americans and Native Americans once worked on the "Industry," a whaling ship whose wreck was recently identified in the Gulf of Mexico

Fones Cliffs along the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Last week, the Rappahannock Tribe announced the reacquisition of 465 acres of ancestral homeland along the river.

Good News

Ancestral Homeland Returned to Rappahannock Tribe After More Than 350 Years

The historic reacquisition spans 465 acres in the Northern Neck of Virginia

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