1. TREATIES: Great Nations in Their Own Words Treaties Exhibition Project Treaties between the American Indian nations and the Great nations, United States government have had an important and lasting like great men, influence on the history of America and all of its citizens. As children, most of us were taught that America was an unpeopled should keep wilderness before Columbus arrived. To a very great extent, schools their word. still promote myth as history when it comes to American Indians. Today, children learn that Native people lived in a state of nature, free of laws and governing institutions. This telling of Native -Justice Hugo Black, American history diminishes the critical role played by Native Supreme Court of the nations and American Indian leaders in the making of American United States, 1959 history, and eliminates an opportunity to teach a new generation of Americans about the special relationship between Native people and the U.S. government today. A Comprehensive History For the National Museum of the American Indian, the Treaties exhibition will mark the first major venture into telling a comprehensive history of tribal relations with the United States. The museum has chosen Treaties because of the breadth of the subject and the many opportunities it presents to address both historical and contemporary issues. For nearly a century after independence, relations between the Indian nations and the United States were conducted primarily by treaty, from the promises made by George Washington to the peace treaties with the warrior nations of the Plains. The Native statesmen who made these treaties believed the promises of the United States were good and that they ensured the futures of Native nations for all time.
2. While Americans may have some vague understanding that treaties were made with the Indians, how many today know that Indian treaties are part of the supreme law of the land? How many realize that the treaties established a government-to-gov- ernment relationship between Indian tribes and the United States, or recognize the continuing impact of that precedent? Through this exhibition and its complementary programs, millions of museum visitors and tens of millions of students will have an opportunity to learn fundamental truths about the government-to-government relation- ship that remain relevant to today. Complementary Programs Education. The ultimate goal of the Treaties exhibition is to educate all Americans, especially American schoolchildren, of the foundational role of Indians and Indian treaties in American history. Traveling Exhibition. Key ideas and examples from the exhibition will be reproduced to travel to tribal colleges and museums, urban Indian community centers, sites where treaties were signed, and many other locales. Scholarship. We want to create opportunities for indigenous scholars and others to study the subject matter of the exhibition at the NMAI. Publications. A book about the Treaties exhibition will be published to reach the broadest possible audience. Cultural Arts. In addition to planning special events for the opening of Treaties, public programs featuring music, dance, storytelling, and documentary films will be offered throughout the run of the exhibition. Symposia. Public education programs are also important to maximize the impact and reach of the exhibition. The museum will host a series of symposia in conjunction with Treaties, and put out a call to scholars in Indian law, history, and Native American studies for papers on related themes. Multimedia Opportunities. Another way to further the impact of the exhibition is through media outlets. For example, the museum may produce a series of radio programs for distribution to appropriate radio stations throughout the country. Support for this exhibition from foundations, corpor- tions, individuals, and Indian nations is critical. Working together, the NMAI and Native nations have an opportunity to correct and complete the American narrative, erase damaging stereotypes and misunder- standings, and create a generation of Americans who understand that the history of the Native nations is also the history of America. For more information, please go to: EMAIL: NMAIfriend@si.edu FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Washington- DC/National-Museum-of-the-American-Indian/30954968553?ref=nf YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/smithsoniannmai TWITTER: http://twitter.com/smithsoniannmai NMAI Development Office: 202-633-6980 www.AmericanIndian.si.edu