Current Affairs


100 Years and Counting: Much to Celebrate and Much to Do In the Years to Come

The National Museum of the American Indian is wrapping up its celebration of the 100th anniversary year of the establishment of our predecessor institution, the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (MAI). MAI’s founding on May 10, 1916, paved the way for the opening of the museum in upper Manhattan in 1922 and eventually the establishment of the NMAI as part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1989. This milestone anniversary gave us various opportunities for celebrating the provenance of our collections and its continued study and expansion. Who would have imagined in the early 1900s that NMAI – with its museums on the National Mall and in Lower Manhattan and the Cultural Resources Center collections facility in Suitland, Md. – would have become such an internationally prominent institution? There are so many stories to tell about amazing and remarkable personalities, and struggles and triumphs along the way, and this past year we proudly honored our truly unique history.

The Continuing Saga of Louise Erdrich

Did the wrong Minnesotan win this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature? Some in Indian Country think the honor is overdue for Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), the Minneapolis-based writer whose 15 novels weave together families, tribe and Ojibwe land over several generations in a way compared to William Faulkner’s chronicles of Yoknapatawpha County.