See Eiteljorg’s Native American galleries

The goal of the Eiteljorg Museum’s redesigned Native American Galleries is to lead visitors into a new state of mind.

Each entrance acknowledges the Native peoples whose ancestral lands are where the museum is now. Large installations — including Hannah Claus’ (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) embodiment of the Miami origin story and Anita Fields’ (Osage/Muscogee) expression of her Osage culture — are immediately native eye-catching. Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware and Shawnee peoples use their own languages ​​to greet visitors, and more are on the way, according to Dorene Red Cloud (Oglala Lakota), associate curator of Native American art.

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The $6 million renovation is rooted in Native peoples’ narratives — how they define themselves instead of how they have been portrayed. Some space at the beginning highlights the latter through romanticized ideas about living in tipis, which is often missed as teepees, and the current cultural discussion of sports mascots.

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