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Trump doesn't understand history': Native Americans tell their story in DC
As a Smithsonian exhibition takes on stereotypes and a Cherokee-written play takes the stage, Native American voices are being amplified. Will the president – and the public – get the message?
David Smith in Washington

@smithinamerica
Sun 11 Feb 2018 01.00 EST Last modified on Sun 11 Feb 2018 05.18 EST
“Indians are less than 1% of the population. Yet images and names of Indians are everywhere. How is it that Indians can be so present and so absent in American life?”

This is the question posed by Americans, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, exploring how Native Americans have been central to America’s sense of itself even as they were systematically persecuted, marginalised and erased.

The myth-busting show contains an array of nearly 300 objects and images of Indians and Indian stereotypes. They include a Tomahawk flight-test missile, a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle, a Washington Redskins football team baby blanket, photos of presidents and celebrities wearing feather headdresses, footage from westerns and scale models of Chinook, Kiowa and Apache Longbow helicopters.

“Indians are less than 1% of the population. Yet images and names of Indians are everywhere. How is it that Indians can be so present and so absent in American life?”

This is the question posed by Americans, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, exploring how Native Americans have been central to America’s sense of itself even as they were systematically persecuted, marginalised and erased.

The myth-busting show contains an array of nearly 300 objects and images of Indians and Indian stereotypes. They include a Tomahawk flight-test missile, a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle, a Washington Redskins football team baby blanket, photos of presidents and celebrities wearing feather headdresses, footage from westerns and scale models of Chinook, Kiowa and Apache Longbow helicopters.

“Indians are less than 1% of the population. Yet images and names of Indians are everywhere. How is it that Indians can be so present and so absent in American life?”

This is the question posed by Americans, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, exploring how Native Americans have been central to America’s sense of itself even as they were systematically persecuted, marginalised and erased.

The myth-busting show contains an array of nearly 300 objects and images of Indians and Indian stereotypes. They include a Tomahawk flight-test missile, a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle, a Washington Redskins football team baby blanket, photos of presidents and celebrities wearing feather headdresses, footage from westerns and scale models of Chinook, Kiowa and Apache Longbow helicopters.

Americans was conceived during Barack Obama’s presidency but arrives in the shadow of Donald Trump. Many Native American activists praised Obama for doing more than any other US president to recognise their grievances, including the government’s historical neglect of treaty obligations. Trump’s biggest impression so far, as a bang-up-to-date digital display acknowledges, is using the term “Pocahontas” to insult Senator Elizabeth Warren over her claims to Cherokee ancestry.

But even as Native Americans find their rights under renewed threat, for example from the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, their cultural voice is growing stronger. Last month the Cleveland Indians baseball team announced that they will drop the red-faced Chief Wahoo caricature from their uniforms next year, bowing to decades of complaints. One of Washington’s leading theatres is staging Sovereignty, a new play that incorporates Cherokee language and is written by Mary Kathryn Nagle, a playwright, lawyer and citizen of Cherokee nation.

Speaking on a panel with the author and cast on the first day of rehearsal, Molly Smith, artistic director of Arena Stage, said: “I have to tell you there’s a big upswing in Native American plays being produced around the country. It is your time. So it’s pretty thrilling that this voice is now being heard.”
2810  Trump  Native  Americans  Smithsonian  museum  2018  stereotypes  mascots 
november 2018 by nynate17
Home | National Museum of the American Indian
Although I dislike the term "museum" because it tends to reinforce the notion of the "vanishing race," and thus relics within a museum, it acts more as a showcase of past and present native peoples
2810  National  Museum  of  the  American  Indian  history  Washington  DC  NMAI 
february 2014 by nynate17

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