Celebrate Native American Heritage Month at NMAI

Photo Credit: NMAI

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November with numerous events honoring American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans. Visitors can celebrate the diversity and contributions of these Native cultures with a variety of free public events in Washington, D.C., New York City, and online. Programs include festivals, performances, talks and family activities.

Youth in Action: Reclaiming the Stage

Tues., Nov. 1, 1–2 p.m.

Can changing theater mean changing the world? Join in a conversation with young Indigenous actors and playwrights who are reimagining Native representation on the stage. DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) will moderate the discussion between panelists Tara Moses (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma), Emily Preis (Citizen of the Osage Nation) and Isabella Madrigal (Cahuilla and Turtle Mountain Chippewa).

This program is free, but advance registration is required. A direct link will be emailed to registrants 24-48 hours in advance. A recording will be available on demand following the premiere.

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.

This program generously supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Native Veterans Procession and Dedication

Fri., Nov. 11

Washington, D.C., and Livestream 

Weekend Celebration

Sat. and Sun., Nov. 12–13

Washington, D.C. 

All are welcome to join as the museum honors the military service of Native American, Native Hawai’ian and Alaska Native veterans, Friday, Nov. 11. The Native veterans’ procession and dedication ceremony will take place beginning at 2 p.m. on the National Mall as part of a three-day celebration featuring hands-on activities, films, performances, and a veterans hospitality suite. The procession and dedication will be livestreamed. For more information about the weekend program visit

2022 Native Cinema Showcase 

Nov. 18–25


The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Indigenous film. Embracing their communities’ oral histories, knowledge and ancestral lands, Indigenous filmmakers are seeking guidance from the past and envisioning new paths for the future. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic. 

The online program includes a total of 35 films (six features and 30 shorts) representing 30 Native nations in eight different countries: US, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia and Sweden. There are 10 Indigenous languages spoken in the films. Genres include documentaries, music videos, kid-friendly shorts, films in Indigenous languages and more. 

Native Cinema Showcase is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. 

Film Screening Imagining The Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting 

Sat., Nov. 19, 2 p.m. 

Washington, D.C. 

Imagining the Indian (USA, 2022, 95 Min.) is a comprehensive examination of the movement to eradicate demeaning and offensive words, images, and gestures in the world of sports. The film takes a deep dive into the issues through archival footage and interviews with those involved in the fight. The psychological research is clear: the use of Native American mascots is detrimental, not only to Native people, but to marginalized groups everywhere. Directors/Producers: Aviva Kempner, Ben West (Cheyenne).

A conversation with Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee and Native rights advocate Suzan Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee), Director of the National Museum of the American Indian; Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo/Hopi/Tewa/Navajo); Smithsonian Under Secretary for Museums and Culture Kevin Gover (Pawnee); and National Museum of the American Indian Founding Director W. Richard West Jr. (Southern Cheyenne) will follow the screening.

Native American 

Heritage Program with Tony Duncan

Fri., Nov. 25, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

Washington, D.C. 

Learn about the meaning and history of hoop dancing in Native culture and enjoy demonstrations by five-time world champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache/Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara).

Native American 

Heritage Program with James Jones

Fri., Nov. 25, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m.

New York, N.Y. 

Learn about the meaning and history of hoop dancing in Native culture and enjoy demonstrations by top-ranking hoop dancer Joseph Secody (Navajo), who has performed at the Dubai World Expo and World Champion Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix.

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