National Museum of the American Indian
This is a historic and long overdue decision.
I'm a big museum person and was delighted to hear that there was a museum dedicated to Native Americans - their culture and art - on the western edge of downtown Indianapolis, in White River State Park.
Nation to Nation; Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, the recently installed exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian, is one of the most difficult and troubling exhibitions I've ever experienced. It is also the best history exhibition I've seen at the Smithsonian.
The complex legal history of the federal government's connection to Native American tribes was on display in separate events last week, neither shining a positive light on this continuum of American history, but both sowing the seeds for a more positive future.
Every American Indian person at the powwow is connected, and is making a statement that American Indian people are still here. This is our celebration of life past, present and future.
As Virginia institutions celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Pocahontas-Rolfe marriage this year, a crucial event in the Commonwealth's venerable self-image, we should recognize that existing Native traditions put it in a very different perspective.