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ERIC Number: EJ920218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-25
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Setting the Record Straight
Ruffins, Paul
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v27 n21 p11-13 Nov 2010
Native Americans have long struggled to battle Hollywood stereotypes, correct the distorted "official" histories found in textbooks and museums and present their stories on their own terms. It is not surprising that a group of Native American scholars and activists is gearing up for an effort to rewrite their history to clarify the true scale of their historical oppression. The struggle to correct the record is happening at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Since its 2004 opening, the NMAI has been a source of pride as a prominent national exhibit dedicated to the preservation and study of Native American culture but one that critics say inadequately represents the persecution of Native Americans. The NMAI is the newest of 19 museums and nine research centers that make up the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex and research organization. The Native American activists, attorneys, and scholars involved in the creation of the NMAI intended it to be a place where American Indians would have everything they needed to tell their true story. However, when the museum opened in Washington, its permanent exhibits left many disappointed and exposed the staff to a storm of condemnation from critics, including several prominent American Indian scholars. To explain how such a promising effort fell short requires an understanding of the tricky politics of exhibiting public history and opens a new chapter in Native Americans' troubled relationship with museums, particularly with the Smithsonian.
Cox, Matthews and Associates. 10520 Warwick Avenue Suite B-8, Fairfax, VA 20170. Tel: 800-783-3199; Tel: 703-385-2981; Fax: 703-385-1839; e-mail: subscriptions@cmapublishing.com; Web site: http://www.diverseeducation.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; United States