NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ720872
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
Defining the Native: Local Print Media Coverage of the NMAI
Reinhardt, Akim D.
American Indian Quarterly, v29 n3-4 p450-465 Sum-Fall 2005
"Dressed in their finest traditional garb--and chatting on cell phones-- the procession of Native Americans is one of the most fascinating and touching events of the Indian Museum?s opening day," asserted an anonymous copywriter in a lead-in to a Washington Post article on September 22, 2004. This single sentence captured some of the major shortcomings in the popular American perception of Native peoples. One is a static and a historical view of Indigenous cultures, an approach that seeks to trap Native peoples in atavistic poses and then certify such atavism as the exclusively authentic representation of the Indigenous. Another prevalent misperception is an appeal to the supposedly exotic aspects of Native peoples and societies, particularly the casting of Native peoples as noble and tragic figures in the melodrama of American history. If the lead-in to the September 22 Post article succinctly reflected popular and problematic views of Native peoples and cultures, it was also emblematic of the problems afflicting local print media coverage of the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) that appeared in The Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun.This essay examines three trends that were evident in the local (Washington Post and Baltimore Sun) print media coverage of the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI): presentations of exotica, ahistorical assertions of atavistic and culturally static interpretations of Native cultures, and the prevalence of non-Native "experts." The author quotes several examples from local reporters' stories to illustrate these trends. (Contains 22 endnotes.)
University of Nebraska Press, 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington