Issues Background
Vol. 23 No. 1
Spring 2022
Cover of NMAI Spring 2022

On the Cover

The Sun Dance ceremony is a frequent subject in Oscar Howe’s paintings, a selection of which are now on exhibition at NMAI in New York. Rather than shy away from sacred knowledge, Howe used his art to document and educate others about Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) traditions.

“Sundance Virgin,” 1962; casein on paper; 24.75” x 19.75”. University Art Galleries, University of South Dakota, PC OH 34 (O.H.L.23).

Courtesy of NMAI and the Oscar Howe Family


Two men, members of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, harvest wild rice from a canoe
Looking at laws that defend the Indigenous rights of nature.
Children and instructors walk through crop fields at the Pueblo of Nambe Community Farm in New Mexico
Native community gardens are providing healthy foods while cultivating cultural traditions.
Dogbane plant with blooming small, white flowers

A Nimíipuu student creates a computer model to bring back dogbane to the Nez Perce Reservation.

An elk pokes out from the trees in a forest in Wisconsin.
Native Americans are restoring wildlife to their lands that once thrived there and continue to be integral parts of their culture.
Se̓liš Ksanka Ql̓ispe̓ Dam on the Flathead River in Montana.

Native nations are making great strides in developing renewable, clean energy sources that are benefiting tribal citizens, whether they live on large reservations or in small villages.

In this Oscar Howe painting, a swirl of blue surrounds a circle formed by two fighting bucks.

A new exhibition at the NMAI in New York features the captivating works of Yanktonai Dakota painter and educator Oscar Howe, who fractured stereotypes of what defined Native art and inspired generations of Native artists.

Walter Lamar as an infant is held by his father and is with his great-grandmother and grandmother in front of a traditional Wichita grass dwelling
A cradleboard reconnects Walter Lamar with his Wichita great-grandmother.
Zitkala-Ša, a Yankton Sioux woman, wearing traditional clothing and holding her hand to her forehead

Images in the Smithsonian archives of Zitkala-Ša show how this accomplished Yankton Sioux writer, violinist, composer and advocate for Indigenous rights and women’s suffrage lived in two very different cultures.