National Museum of the American Indian

Independence Ave SW Washington

D.C. Museums You May Have Missed/National Museum of the American Indian
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National Museum of the American Indian

This museum on the National Mall first opened its doors in 2014 to great fanfare. It is affiliated with a museum of the same name in New York City, which has been open since 1916 and joined the Smithsonian in 1989. Take a walk through the museum and see some of its extensive collection in the video below.

Well known in the D.C. area for the delicious food served in its cafeteria, the museum itself is an underrated destination and worth spending quality time exploring. Most of us didn't learn much about Native American history and culture in school, so time at this museum is likely to be very informative and worthwhile.

The museum hosts an exciting collection of exhibitions which are periodically updated. "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World" is on display until 2021, and offers a fascinating look into the philosophies, cosmologies and worldviews of some of the many Native tribes of North America. Another exhibition, "Americans," explores the various ways that American Indians have been portrayed in popular culture, and the positive and negative impacts of such portrayals.

Museum Exhibitions

As with all of the other Smithsonian Museums in Washington, admission is free. It is open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. A free gallery tour is offered Monday-Friday from 1:30-2:45 PM. The museums periodically hosts public events and special performances. Check the museum's event calendar below before you visit!

Museum Events Calendar

Of course, no post about the National Museum of the American Indian would be complete without a hearty recommendation of its Miisitam Cafe. Known for serving the best food of any of the Smithsonian Museums, it is open daily from 11AM-3PM (and until 5PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day).

Cover photo "Sculpture" by Celladoor is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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D.C. Museums You May Have Missed

National Museum of the American Indian

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