Washington, DC – A new exhibit opens Thursday, January 18: Americans at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.
The exhibit prompts a national and global conversation. What are the relationships with the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities? How have they changed over time? How does the world see Native Americans?
Starting points are deep dive into the narratives and counter-narratives of the Battle of Little Bighorn, Pocahontas, and the Trail of Tears.
The imagery is the tip of the iceberg. Curators request additional images shared online with the hashtag #NDNsEverywhere
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- What are NDNs? = Indians
- Does the exhibit have any live and recorded videos?
- What sort of imagery would Indigenous peoples like others to see?
- How are we using the social web to share, favorite, curate, retweet Indigenous voices?
- What are the protocols of using photos of Indigenous peoples?
- Is this t-shirt racist?
- What are examples of Indigenous tourism in the USA?
Official Spin: American Indian images are everywhere, from the Land O’Lakes butter maiden to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, and from classic Westerns and cartoons to episodes of Seinfeld and South Park. American Indian names are everywhere too, from state, city, and street names to the Tomahawk missile. And familiar historical events such as Pocahontas’s life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn remain popular reference points in everyday conversation.
Americans, a major exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, highlights the ways in which American Indians have been part of the nation’s identity since before the country began. It delves into the three stories, surrounds visitors with images, and invites them to begin a conversation about why this phenomenon exists. Pervasive, powerful, at times demeaning, the images, names, and stories reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have been embedded in unexpected ways in the history, pop culture, and identity of the United States.
Native America Calling
People want to know more about something that is in their heads. – Paul Chaat Smith, @subaltern77
Webcast: Curators Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche) and Cécile Ganteaume, and the National Museum of the American Indian director Kevin Gover (Pawnee) will offer their insight on the creation of this provocative exhibition in a conversation moderated by Gerald McMaster (Plains Cree/Member of the Siksika First Nation).
American Indian images, names, and stories infuse American life. The images are everywhere, from the Land O’Lakes butter maiden to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot. American Indian names are everywhere too, from state, city, and street names to the Tomahawk missile. And the familiar historical events of Pocahontas’s life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn remain reference points in everyday conversations. This exhibition offers a revelatory way to understand the pervasive imagery of American Indians that surrounds 21st century Americans. The exhibition also provides evidence of a surprising, profound, and deeply entangled history.
Audience – Baseball – Battle of Little Bighorn – Columbus Day – Contact – Dreamcatcher – Football – Free – Gold Rush – History Textbooks – Imagery – Impactful – Indians – Indigenous Peoples Day – Invasion – Motorcycles – Movies – Museums – Newspapers – Paul Revere – Pocahontas – Public – Show – Symbol – Stereotype – Thanksgiving – Trail of Tears