The Museum Of The American Indian

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Museums serve as a way to connect with the public on a large scale, and the knowledge held within exhibits can be a fruitful experience for those who choose to visit these institutions. Experiencing all that a museum has to offer, no matter how well intentioned, can at times be confusing and overwhelming to the individuals visiting the site. The Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian dedicates itself to Native Americans in North and South America, and worked tirelessly with varying tribes to create a new standard. Some visitors and scholars found their work to be successful in design and approach while others found it to be lacking in execution. This institution does not approach Native American history in a familiar fashion; however it does cover an expansive period of time, and produces a great amount of detail while generating powerful emotions. Creating a repository like the Museum of the Native American Indian is an extensive undertaking, and while many aspects of Indian history are portrayed there are many historians who believe that there is a considerable part of that past missing. Sonya Atalay remarked that, “The exhibits do not offer visitors the context of struggle necessary to appreciate these victories and the ultimate survival of Indigenous communities of North America as sovereign, self-determining nations.” For many historians, including Atalay, context is an extremely important facet of Native American history that many individuals are not able
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