HomeAmericaNative American Exhibitions – Smithsonian Institute

There are many museums that cover all aspects of Native American history and culture but my favorite one is The National Museum of the American Indian.  It is one of the many museums owned and operated by the Smithsonian Institution.  This museum is probably the first National museum which covers nearly all aspects of Native American culture.

It was created by an Act of Congress in 1989 and the museum works closely with all Native people of the Western Hemisphere.  The goal of the museum is to promote and foster the cultures of these people and effectively giving them a voice.

The museum has an extensive collection, which was originally put together by George Gustav.  It consists of more than 800,000 pieces from all sorts of different areas and significance.   All tribes from the United States are covered in the collection as well as lots from Canada and South America.

The museum also has a huge film and audiovisual collection, plus a great photography archive which has upwards of 250,000 images preserved for posterity.   The NMAI comprises of 3 main facilities which have been designed in conjunction with Native Americans across the country.

Many of the museums resources are also available online, they should be accessible to any web surfer.  It is refreshing to see so much of the collection available online and available to anyone.  Many resources in some collections are not so accessible – surprisingly there are some museums that only allow access to residents of their own countries – fortunately you don’t need to use anything like the proxies which I had to use to access a websites based in Calcutta for more information here’s a good source.  It is important that these collections should be available to all and accessible online without problems.