In 1619, as peace with the Powhatan Indians was breaking down, the settlement of Jamestown received its first captives from Africa, convened a representative assembly and awaited the arrival of the first large-scale importation of potential wives from England. The Commonwealth is marking the subsequent four centuries of “American Evolution,” with a memorial being built to commemorate influential women of the day – including the Pamunkey chief Cockacoeske – and an Indigenous film festival.
The Indian tribes of Massachusetts and Connecticut went all in to support the American Revolution, losing men in engagements from the Boston Massacre to the Battle of Bunker Hill and beyond. Yet some are still fighting for federal recognition and reservation rights.
A lead from the other side of the world is helping to fill in gaps of knowledge about our collections. One of the dealers who helped George Gustav Heye assemble his massive ethnological holdings in the early 1900s was the British collector William Ockleford Oldman. Following Oldman’s trail, NMAI’s Collection Documentations Manager Maria Galban located a treasure trove of his business records and invaluable provenance information in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.
A new U.S. $1 coin is paying tribute to the life of Mary Golda Ross (Cherokee), who took the tribal education fostered by her great-great-grandfather Chief John Ross, to new heights as the first Native woman aerospace engineer and a pioneer of the Space Program.
The idea that individuals should be remembered and acknowledged – for our humanity as much as for theirs – is at the heart of every memorial.
In spite of racial barriers, Indigenous women served with U.S. and Canadian forces in the horrors of the Great War as nurses in military hospitals near the front. Here is the story of two veterans of the Nurse Corps of the Army Medical Department in France during 1918, Cora Elm (Wisconsin Oneida) and Edith Anderson (Grand River Mohawk).
An ancient ceramic vessel preserves the folklore of the Holy Four and shows the artistic skill of the Indigenous Caribbean peoples centuries before Columbus.
For more than 60 years, Charles Shay (Penobscot) couldn’t talk about his horrific experiences on Omaha Beach during the largest seaborne invasion in history. Now he performs a smudging ceremony at the annual D-Day observances in Normandy, France, in honor of the 175 American Indians who landed that day. The French have dedicated a park overlooking the beach, in his, and their, honor.
Naal Tsoos Saní, the “Old Paper” in the language of the Diné, is the Treaty of 1868 that ended the Navajo peoples’ forced relocation to the Bosque Redondo. Although it is the legal foundation of the modern Navajo Nation, its limits on traditional Diné sovereignty are still intensely debated. The 20-page document, recently displayed in the exhibit Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations at the Museum on the National Mall, is moving to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz., for the 150th anniversary of its signing.
This multi-talented Pawnee student greatly impressed his teachers at Haskell Institution with his artistic skill. He also impressed his commander in the “Rough Riders” of the Spanish–American War, Lt. Col. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, with his bravery in combat.