With it being Native American Heritage Month in November, if you are in the DC area or planning on visiting Washington anytime soon, there is no better time to stop at the National Museum of the American Indian.
The National Museum of the American Indian (4th St & Independence Ave, Washington DC) is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is solely dedicated to the languages, life, literature, history and arts of the Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere.
The NMAI hosts one of the world’s most extensive collections of Native artifacts including objects, photos, archives and media that cover the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.
The Museum is responsible for three separate facilities. The main museum on the National Mall in Washington DC offers exhibition galleries along with spaces for performances, lectures and symposiums, research and education. The George Gustav Heye Center (GGHC) in New York City primarily houses exhibitions, educational activities and performing arts programs and the Cultural Resources Center (CRC) in Suitland, Maryland is home to all of the museum’s collections as well as the conservation, repatriation and research facilities.
Since the passage of its enabling legislation in 1989, the National Museum of the American Indian has retained its commitment to bring Native voices to what the Smithsonian already presents.
With incredibly educational rotating exhibits like “Dolls From The Charles And Valerie Diker Collection” and ancient ceramics from Central America, the Museum is the perfect weekend destination for the entire family to gain a further appreciation for those that came before us.
Take a break and enjoy a meal inspired by tradition at the museum’s Mitsitam (translation: “let’s eat!”) Native Foods Cafe. Your trip to museum is enhanced by indigenous cuisines of the Americas and gives visitors a chance to explore the history of Native foods. Five food stations depict life in different regions related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. Go old school and try the frybread or challenge your tastebuds to something new with a bison burger!
Admission to the museum is free and is fully accessible.
For more information, visit https://americanindian.si.edu/