The majestic Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian — the
newest addition to the National Mall in downtown Washington, D.C. — is
the first national museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to
Native Americans. From the outside, the rugged, five-story-tall building
looks like a mass of stone that has been sculpted over time by wind and
water. Inside, an electronic Welcome Wall greets visitors in 150
indigenous languages, signifying the diversity of Native peoples
throughout the Americas.
The museum’s three core exhibits — Our Universes, Our Peoples and Our
Lives — share the histories and cultures of American Indians. The Our
Universes gallery focuses on Native cosmology and the annual
celebrations and ceremonies of Native peoples. In the Our Peoples
gallery, historical events are shared by American Indians — in their
own voices — to leave a recorded oral history. And the gallery titled
Our Lives examines the contributions made by Native peoples in the 21st
The Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, located inside the museum, is a
popular attraction. Far from the typical museum fare of hot dogs and
hamburgers, the Native food offerings include quahog clam chowder,
buffalo burgers and chili, and a smoked seafood platter.
For more information, call (202) 633-1000 or visit americanindian.si.edu.