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Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving?

National Museum of the American Indian
The first Thanksgiving re-enacted in classrooms is romanticized beyond recognition—understandably so, as the true story is far too sad for young children. Readers offer their thoughts on how we can understand our shared history better, and how we can still be thankful.

Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?

National Museum of the American Indian
The story of the first Thanksgiving re-enacted in classrooms throughout the United States has been romanticized beyond recognition. Understandably so, as the actual history of Native–non-Native relationships in Colonial New England is far too sad for young children. But stereotypical "historic" presentations do damage, as well.

American Indians

National Museum of American History

Do American Indians celebrate the 4th of July?

National Museum of the American Indian
History explains why Native nations first began to hold ceremonies and gatherings on the 4th of July. Here, American Indians share their personal thoughts on the day and how their families observe it.

Do American Indians celebrate the 4th of July?

National Museum of the American Indian
A little history explains how many Native nations and tribes came to celebrate Independence Day. Contemporary American Indians share their personal thoughts on the holiday and how they observe it.

This Indian Country: American Indians and the Place They Made

National Museum of the American Indian
To celebrate the presidential inauguration, Frederick E. Hoxie discusses his new book, "This Indian Country: American Indian Activists and the Place They Made", a story of political activism with victories hard-won in courts and campaigns rather than on the battlefield. For more than 200 years, Indian lawyers, tribal leaders, activists, and commentators—some famous, many unknown beyond their own communities—have sought to bridge the distance between indigenous cultures and the republican democracy of the United States through legal and political debate. Hoxie, winner of 2012's American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award and a founding trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, weaves a powerful narrative that connects the individual to the tribe, the tribe to the nation, and the nation to broader historical processes. This lecture was webcast from the Rasmuson Theater at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC on January 18, 2013.

Seven American Indian Men n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Deteriorating Image

Original Number 48861.

Black and white gelatin glass negative

One in Partial Native Dress, Two with Ornaments, One with Breastplate and Holding Tomahawk

At far right, Sass-wain, or Man Afraid of His Trail, also called Henry Potra. Tribe suggested, and one member of group identified from Bureau of American Ethnology Negative 554-a and -b, Sass-wain or Man Afraid of His Trail, also known as Henry Potra, Pembina Band of Chippewa.

The American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

Transforming Teaching and Learning about American Indians: 1 Opening Remarks

National Museum of the American Indian
Contemporary teaching about American Indians frequently present just a tiny glimpse into the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native peoples. Transforming Teaching and Learning about American Indians is a symposium that explores the need to transform education about Native Americans that seek to address this deficiency and others. In this segment, Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Maria Marable-Bunch, Associate Director for Museum Learning and Programs, National Museum of the American Indian and symposium moderator, provide introductory remarks for the program and introduce the speakers. The symposium was webcast and recorded in the National Museum of the American Indian Rasmuson Theater on November 1, 2018.

Transforming Teaching and Learning about American Indians: 5 Stephanie Fryberg

National Museum of the American Indian
Contemporary teaching about American Indians frequently present just a tiny glimpse into the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native peoples. Transforming Teaching and Learning about American Indians is a symposium that explores the need to transform education about Native Americans that seek to address this deficiency and others. In this segment, Stephanie Fryberg, University of Washington, speaks on "Reclaiming Native Truths: How the Psychology of Omission Fuels a Cycle of Bias against Native Americans." Stephanie A. Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State, is the William and Ruth Gerberding University Professor of Psychology and American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and her B.A. from Kenyon College. As a social and cultural psychologist, Dr. Fryberg’s research explores the ways in which the social world systematically influences how people understand themselves and their actions, and ultimately how they shape important life outcomes such as educational attainment and health. Her current research program is two-fold: First, for the past three years, she has worked with teachers and administrators across 6 school districts to scale up a model for building culturally inclusive, motivating classroom and school environments that enhance identity safety—the belief that all students belong and can be successful—for students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Second, as part of the Reclaiming Native Truth project, her research examines how the current narratives about Native people in the U.S. reify and maintain systems of inequality (i.e., policies and practices) that undermine the social, psychological, and financial well-being of tribal people and tribal communities. Dr. Fryberg has received numerous awards and her research is published in leading academic journals. In 2011, she was inducted into the Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame at Stanford University. The symposium was webcast and recorded in the National Museum of the American Indian Rasmuson Theater on November 1, 2018.

Transforming Teaching and Learning about American Indians: 4 Sarah Shear

National Museum of the American Indian
Contemporary teaching about American Indians frequently present just a tiny glimpse into the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native peoples. Transforming Teaching and Learning about American Indians is a symposium that explores the need to transform education about Native Americans that seek to address this deficiency and others. In this segment, Sarah Shear, Penn State Altoona, speaks on "Manifesting Destiny: Representations of Native Peoples and Nations in U.S. History and Civics State-level." Sarah B. Shear is an assistant professor of social studies education at Penn State Altoona. Her research focuses on K-12 social studies curriculum within Indigenous contexts. Dr. Shear examines issues of race and settler colonialism in social studies state standards and textbooks, teacher education, film, and qualitative research methodologies. Her work is published in Theory and Research in Social Education, Journal of Social Studies Education, and Qualitative Inquiry. Dr. Shear’s work is also featured in the books Race Lessons: Using Inquiry to Teach about Race in Social Studies, Cinematic Social Studies: A Resource for Teaching and Learning Social Studies with Film, and Doing Race in Social Studies: Critical Perspectives. She co-edited (Re)Imagining Elementary Social Studies: A Controversial Issues Reader, published in 2018, and is co-editing a forthcoming book, Marking the Invisible: Articulating Whiteness in Social Studies Education and Research. The symposium was webcast and recorded in the National Museum of the American Indian Rasmuson Theater on November 1, 2018.

American Indian Man, D n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Written on label pasted to original glass negative.

Original Number 16098.

Black and white collodion glass negative

American Indian Man, D n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Written on label pasted to original glass negative.

Original Number 16098.

Black and white collodion glass negative

(American Indians, portfolio) Sauk

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(American Indians, portfolio) Sioux

Smithsonian American Art Museum

American Indian Man n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Black and white collodion glass negative

American Indian Man n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Black and white collodion glass negative

American Indian Man n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Deteriorating Image

Black and white gelatin glass negative

American Indian Man n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Black and white collodion glass negative

American Indian Man n.d

National Anthropological Archives
Black and white collodion glass negative

(American Indians, portfolio) Cree

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(American Indians, portfolio) Blackfoot

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(American Indians, portfolio) Kickapoo

Smithsonian American Art Museum

American Indian beliefs about the eclipse

National Museum of the American Indian
The museum asked people, “Does your tribe have any beliefs or protocols concerning the eclipse?” Here are some of the replies.
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