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National Museum of the American Indian

I wish everyone would see, "Americans," at the National Museum of the Americans, in Washington, D.C.  It is keyed to the ubiquity of Native Americans in popular culture.  Spectacularly installed, in a grand hall, are hundreds of Indian-themed artifacts.

Sections unpack the of Pocahontas, the first Thanksgiving, the Trail of tears, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn--stories that every body knows, at least hazily.

A collection of, "Everything You Know About Indians Is Wrong" (2009) does indeed make you feel smart, abruptly wised up to ramifications of a modern "embrace of love and hate and narcissism" between post-1492 latecomers to the continent and inhabitants  who only came Indians once the armed struggle was over in 1890.  Before then we were Shoshone or Mohawk or Crow.

Today, there are about three million people who identify as members of more than five hundred tribes.

The show tells the tale of Pochontas, who, in 1617 died in England, at the age of twenty-two or so, after having a son with the early Jamestown settler John Rolfe, in terms of her strange posthumous prestige for aristocratic and, of course, slave-holding Virginia families.

Absent any correct attitude or even argument on offer, viewers will be thrown back on their own assumptions, if they think about them--and I expect that many will.  The show's disarming sweetness and its bracing challenge come down to the same thing.

Source: ALL AMERICAN, By Peter Schjeldahl, in The New Yorker, January 29, 2018

The words of editor Ralph Dixey of Tevope in Fort Hall, Idaho published in 1939; "Friends, we are all Indians no matter how white or dark you are. It does not make any difference where you are, what you are doing, or how much money you are making. We are all Indians..."

This post first appeared on Coaching Tip: The Leadership, please read the originial post: here

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National Museum of the American Indian


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