Photo Credit: National Museum of the American Indian
Photo Credit: National Museum of the American Indian
Photo Credit: National Museum of the American Indian
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Indigenous Peoples’ Virtual Events: Sept., Oct. and Nov.

All events are free unless otherwise noted. For information, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Curriculum Day and Virtual Teach-In Indigenous Land: Rights, Relationships and Responsibility 

Saturday, Sept. 25, 12:30 p.m.–3 p.m. ET 

Registration cost is $10 


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Teaching for Change host a day of online conversation, curriculum sharing and ideas exchange. 

The museum education experts, Teaching for Change and K–12 teachers will share curriculum and teaching strategies and explore the museum’s Essential Understandings for teaching about Indigenous peoples’ histories and their experiences around land justice today. The keynote speaker will discuss land rights issues and the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and the land. Workshops will feature classroom resources from the museum’s online education portal Native Knowledge 360° and the Zinn Education Project’s Teach Climate Justice Campaign/Zinn Education Project. The teach-in will be held virtually via Zoom; registration is open now. 

The Other Slavery: Histories of Indian Bondage from New Spain to the Southwestern United States 

Sept. 24–27, on demand https://americanindian.si.edu/calendar 

Stories of enslaved Indigenous peoples have often been absent from the historical narrative. Join the Smithsonian for a virtual symposium that explores the hidden stories of enslaved 

Indigenous peoples, focusing on the legacy of Spanish colonization in the Americas and Asia and its impact on what is now the southwestern United States. Experts from a range of academic disciplines, including Indigenous studies, anthropology and history, will examine untold stories of coerced labor and peonage and the long-term impact of Indian slavery. Panelists will discuss the legacies of Native American enslavement with Indigenous community leaders and cultural workers. The event will explore the different forms and complexity of human bondage that resulted in hybrid cultures, tangled economic practices, and intricate social relationships between the Spanish and Indigenous communities. Overall, this program seeks to give a comprehensive “first voice” to these hushed stories and living legacies. 

The symposium is presented by the Smithsonian Latino Center, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of the Smithsonian’s initiative, Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past. 

The Other Slavery symposium is made possible, in part, through support from the One Smithsonian Symposia Fund through the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Museums and Culture. Bank of America is proud to be the Founding Partner of Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past. 

Youth In Action 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day – Black-Indigenous Youth Advancing Social Justice 

Monday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m. ET 

Free, advance registration required at americanindian.si.edu/calendar 

How are Black-Indigenous youth working to advance social justice? This Indigenous Peoples’ Day program highlights youth of blended Black and Native heritage who use art, activism, and policy to advance Black and Indigenous solidarity and affect positive change in their communities. 

Moderated by Amber Starks (African American and Muscogee [Creek]). Panelists include Joy SpearChief-Morris (African American and Kainai Blood Tribe), Kyle T. Mays (Black and Saginaw Chippewa), and Autumn Rose Williams (Black and Shinnecock). Learn more about the panelists here. 

The program is free, but advance registration is required. A direct link to view the program will be emailed to registrants 24-48 hours before the program. 

 This program is part of the Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future series, which features young Native activists and changemakers from across the Western Hemisphere who are working towards equity and social justice for Indigenous peoples.

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 

Oct. 28, On demand americanindian.si.edu/calendar 

To celebrate Día de los Muertos, the museum will showcase two unique Day of the Dead traditions: figural sugar work and papier-mâché arts. The Mondragón family are skilled sugar workers known for their sugar animals and the most popular symbol of Día de los Muertos: the sugar skull. They come from the city of Toluca, the heart of sugar-figure making in Mexico, where they have been making hand-decorated sugar skulls for more than 150 years. 

Miriam Castañeda and Martín Ramírez create compelling cartonería tradicional (papier-mâché) figures called calaveras (laughing skeletons), which are famous for humorously depicting everyday activities. Calaveras have become closely associated with Día de los Muertos but, originally, they were used to adorn religious spaces and to represent various historical figures in processions. 

Federal support for this program is provided by the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. 

2021 Native Cinema Showcase  

Nov. 12–18, on demand americanindian.si.edu/calendar 

The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. This year focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic. 

Special support for Native Cinema Showcase provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional funding provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Legislature, the Walt Disney Company, the Consulate General of Canada in New York, and the Council for Canadian American Relations. 

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