Why You Should Spend Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the National Museum of the American Indian
The official New York City calendar still recognizes Monday as the Columbus Day holiday, but it’s also Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which honors the many inhabitants who were already here when Columbus arrived. It’s a day to acknowledge the centuries of violence and displacement wrought on Native peoples, as well as to celebrate their own history and culture, and note the significant contributions they have made to the nation built on their land.
And you can learn more about Indigenous history right here in Lower Manhattan. The National Museum of the American Indian (1 Bowling Green) is packed with exhibits that encourage thoughtful exploration of themes like ancestry, connection and what it means to truly be a native New Yorker.
Exhibits on view now include “Shelley Niro: 500 Year Itch,” which celebrates 50 years of Niro’s paintings, photos, mixed-media works and films through her Six Nations Mohawk community. The museum’s “Native New York” exhibit explores the questions of how Indigenous peoples shaped the city’s growth and affect its development today. The ongoing collection at the museum also highlights more than 700 works of Native art from the Americas, curated to show the museum’s vast scope in covering both geography and chronology.
The museum also welcomes families with an interactive imagiNATIONS activity center, exploring the scientific principle behind Native innovations and technologies.
The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is free to attend. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Learn more here.Tags: indigenous peoples day, nmai