Across the USA, you can find various museums and cultural centers that are great ways to see, touch, hear and learn more about the Native people of your region, both from the past and in the present day. You may be surprised to learn new things about the history of your area or to find that local place names have a special meaning in the Native American tongue of your region.
The National Museum of The American Indian
If you are close to Washington DC or New York city, you can visit two of the NMAI – National Museums of the American Indian. Both are exciting places to experience Native culture first-hand. Aside from an incredible facilities both sites have on-going exhibits, classes, workshops and even online performances or seminars about topics of interest concerning Native American culture.
More Native American Museums
If you’re not close to either NMAI location or want to know specific information about local tribes near your home, you can often start by searching the name of local tribes online. Check to see if a museum or cultural center exists or find a contact on the powwow.com site. Within a short time, you should be able to find accurate and up to date information about what is happening in your area in regard to Native culture.
Here’s one thing to remember about searching popular tribal names, though. Keep in mind that some commonly used names for tribes are not the same ones used by the tribes themselves. For instance, although the Iroquois Museum uses the term “Iroquois”, the teaching resources utilize their preferred name of Haudenosaunee, meaning “People of the Longhouse”.
Get There Online!
Can’t visit a museum in person? Check out the websites below for some great experiences. For instance, the NMAI in New York has just completed a 5 year long exhibit called the Circle of Dance. If you visit the main page, you can see a glorious slide show of Native Dance regalia from all over the world. At the main NMAI site, you can discover a host of teaching materials or even do an online search of collections. Some facilities; such as the Iroquois museum, also offer resources for tracing genealogy. The Museum of Inuit art offers audio and video tours. Many sites have bookstores online where you can purchase accurate material on Native history and traditions as well.
What can you learn about Native culture? A world of resources are available. Just start with a sense of curiosity and respect and you’ll be off on an exciting journey into the world of the first peoples of North America.
Native American Museum Links
NMAI in Washington DC – http://nmai.si.edu/visit/washington/
NMAI in New York City - http://nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/
Iroquois Museum - http://www.iroquoismuseum.org
Children’s Iroquois Museum – http://www.iroquoismuseum.org/CHILDRENS%20MUSEUM.html
Museum of the Cherokee Indian – http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/
Walatowa Visitor Center (Pueblo of Jemez) – http://www.jemezpueblo.com/
Ojai Valley Museum (Chumash and Ancient Peoples of California) https://www.ojaivalleymuseum.org/
Museum of Inuit Art (Canada) – http://www.miamuseum.ca/
Circle Of Dance Exhibit Info – http://nmai.si.edu/static/exhibitions/circleofdance/
Powwow.com – http://www.powwows.com
Related Resources And Activities
Jingle Dance Tradition (Post + 2017 NAMH Blog Hop And Give-Away) https://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2017/11/03/jingle-dress-dancing-native-american/
Hear a Pow-wow Drum http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php
Make a (Frameless) Pow-Wow Drum http://www.dariamusic.com/make_Drum.php
Color a Pow-Wow Drum – Printable and Online http://www.dariamusic.com/drum.php
You Are Welcome At A Native American Pow-Wow (Post on Pow-Wow Etiquette) http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/2014/11/02/native-american-pow-wow/
Make A Native American Turtle Rattle From Recycled Materials https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-American-Turtle-Shell-Rattle-Craft-Using-Recycled-Materials-600715