© robinrkc (Flickr) 02-NMAI-Exterior-2
© robinrkc (Flickr)
History of the National Museum of the American Indian
George Gustav Heye established his foundation in 1916 and opened a museum in 1922 to house his extensive collection of Native American artefacts in New York. This moved to the old U.S. Customs House in 1994, while the new conservation centre was constructed at Suitland, Maryland in 1999.
The new Smithsonian facility in Washington opened in 2004 and it is the first national museum devoted to the Native American Indian.
Washington National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian is a Smithsonian institution situated on the National Mall near the National Air and Space Museum and quite near the U.S. Capitol Building.
This free facility was a custom built-in collaboration with Native American Indian advisers.
It displays a wide range of contemporary Native Americans art, which the museum both commissions and purchases.
The museum includes two theatres for Native American performances and a shop that sells both traditional and modern designs from Native American artisans and designers.
NMAI Cultural Resources Centre at Suitland, Maryland
A purpose-built facility dedicated to the research and conservation of the vast collection of objects, records, and media items held by the museum.
Serious scholars researching Native American cultures can contact the Centre to gain access to their archives and collections. Symbolic artefacts are kept here, and native North Americans can gain access both as advisers and claimants. They are encouraged to train as curators and conservators.
There are extensive library facilities: both the indoor and outdoor storage facilities as available. The collection is so impressive that it represents First Nation inhabitants from Canada to the Caribbean, from Alaska to southern South America.
The George Gustav Heye Center, New York
This branch of the Native American Museum is located in lower Manhattan, just south of Bowling Green, near Broadway. Highlights tours are led by a Native Cultural Interpreter while hands-on activities encourage engagement with Native culture.
Hok-noth-da (Shawnee for ‘did you hear?’) is an interactive reading experience for families with young children.
The Haudenosaunee Discovery Room is for group education about the Iroquois people. The museum focuses on both history and Native Indian culture.