What’s New in Indian Country (Winter 2018)

Parks & Public Lands


Tribes to Participate in Grand Canyon Centennial Celebration
Grand Canyon Village, Arizona (Southwest Region)
Desert View Watchtower // (c) AIANTAOn February 26, 2019, Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate its centennial anniversary as a National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grand Canyon welcomes some six million visitors from around the world every year. Throughout the year-long celebration, eleven area tribes will participate and share their culture with visitors. Recently, AIANTA in partnership with Grand Canyon National Park and the park’s Inter-Tribal Advisory Council (ITAC), help spearhead a re-invigoration of the Desert View Watchtower, including establishing an inter-tribal cultural heritage center at the iconic location. Media contact: Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes, Centennial Outreach Coordinator, Grand Canyon National Park, vanessa_ceja-cervantes@nps.gov; Dawn Melvin, Tribal Tourism Relations Manager, State of Arizona, dmelvin@tourism.az.gov

Glacier Bay Dedicates New Healing Totem
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska (Alaska Region)
On August 25, 2018, Glacier Bay National Park and the Hoonah Indian Association (HIA) dedicated a new Healing Totem Pole – a hand-carved monument commemorating the evolution of park and tribal relationships. The totem, which carves centuries of history into 20 feet of yellow cedar, depicts the Huna Tlingit’s tragic migration from their Glacier Bay homeland as well as more recent collaborative efforts to forge new partnerships. Capped by two human figures symbolically holding Xunaa Shuká Hít, Huna Ancestors’ House – one wearing a woven cedar hat, one wearing the iconic ranger hat – the totem has become a focal point for conversations about effective partnerships. Media contact: Mario Fulmer, Visitor Programs Manager, Alaska Native Voices, mfulmer@alaskanativevoices.com.

Suquamish Tribe to Build New Waterfront Park
Suquamish, Washington (Pacific Region)
The Suquamish Tribe of Washington is developing a multi-use space, including a new park, near the Suquamish waterfront. The area, a 36-acre parcel of land located on the shores of the Port Madison Indian, which been leased out for 50 years, recently reverted back to Tribal ownership. Plans call for walking trails and a culturally-themed playground connecting the Suquamish Museum to the Veteran’s Monument near the House of Awakened Culture. Construction of the first phase is expected to continue through 2019 with an anticipated completion in 2020. Media contact: April Leigh, Communications Manager, Suquamish Tribe, aleigh@suquamish.nsn.us

Reintroducing Buffalo to Buffalo
Buffalo, New York (Eastern Region)
The Seneca Nation Agricultural Dept. and the tribally owned Gakwi:yo:h Farms have partnered with the Northeastern Wildlife Company to start a buffalo farm. Nine Buffalo have recently been released into a temporary 100-acre hillside field in Machias, NY. The nine buffalo join five others, and the entire herd will reside on the temporary field until the Seneca Nation can secure permanent land in its own territory. Gakwi:yo:h Farm employees are training with the Northeastern Wildlife Company to learn how to care for the buffalo.  www.facebook.com/senecamedia/videos/276364819645455

Cultural Centers, Museums & Galleries


Pine Ridge Reservation Breaks Ground on ArtSpace Facility
Kyle, South Dakota (Plains Region)
On September 27, 2018, the Oglala Dakota tribe held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Oglala Lakota ArtSpace, the first-ever Arts Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The $2.5 million facility, a partnership between Artspace, First Peoples Fund (a Native American 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) and Lakota Funds (a Native CDFI organization on Pine Ridge) will serve as a hub connecting arts and cultural activities across the geographically vast reservation (which is roughly the size of Connecticut.) When it opens, it will provide workspaces, classrooms and marketplace access for area artists, while also serving as a link between other tribes and cultural institutions in Western South Dakota. The new center will complement an existing mobile arts lab called Rolling Rez Arts, that further meets the needs of Pine Ridge artists. ArtSpace currently owns and operates some 50 projects across the country.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Breaks Ground, Set to Open 2020
Palm Springs, California (Pacific Region)
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has broken ground on the 5.8-acre Agua Caliente Cultural Museum at the corner of E. Tahquitz Canyon Way and S. Indian Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. The new museum will celebrate the history, culture and modern times of the tribe. The iconic intersection is home to the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring, a 12,000-year-old water source that has been instrumental in shaping the Palm Springs area. The new cultural center will include the Agua Caliente Spa & Bathhouse which honors the tribe’s rich history as the guardian of this healing mineral water. The new spa will be the fifth bathhouse or spa at the site since the late 1880s. Also on site, an interpretive green belt, the Oasis Trail, recreates the distinctive character, geology, flora and beauty of the nearby Indian Canyons, one of the ancestral homes of the Agua Caliente. Media contact: Kate Anderson, Director of Public Relations, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, kanderson@aguacaliente-nsn.gov

American Indian Cultural Center & Museum to Open in 2021 in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Plains Region)
Officials have confirmed that the on-hold American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) is now back on track. Construction is expected to begin in January with a scheduled opening date for spring 2021. The $65 million project, which will tell the story of the 39 tribes in Oklahoma will borrow about 120 objects—that once belonged to Oklahoma tribal members—from the Smithsonian. Oher items will come from private collections. Media contact: Shoshana Wasserman, Associate Director, American Indian Cultural Center Foundation, (405) 239.5503, shoshanaw@aiccm.org.

Seneca Nation of Indians Opens New National Museum; to Erect First New Longhouse Since 1820
Salamanca, New York (Eastern Region)
In September 2018, the Seneca Nation of Indians opened the new Seneca-Iroquois National Museum. The $18 million, 33,000 square-foot facility chronicles the history of the Seneca and other Native American tribes, while also looking forward to the future. The museum, which replaces the original Seneca-Iroquois National Museum built in 1977, will also feature a 600-seat auditorium that will offer lectures, cultural presentations and concerts. Outside, a massive new Longhouse, which is expected to open Spring 2018, is the first Seneca Longhouse to be built since 1820. It too will offer cultural events and activities. Media contact: PR/External Relations, j.jimerson@sni.org

Exhibitions & Openings


1843 Cherokee Peace Council Exhibit; Cherokee National Supreme Court
Through November 2019; Tahlequah, Oklahoma (Plains Region)
Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is hosting an exhibit at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum that chronicles the historical 1843 Intertribal Peace Gathering, called “the most important Indian council ever held on the American continent.” The exhibit runs through November 2019. Media contact: Whitney Dittman, Public Relations Specialist, Cherokee Nation Businesses; Whitney.Dittman@cn-bus.com

Section 14: The Other Palm Springs; National Museum of the American Indian (DC)
Feb. 7, 2019–Jan. 2020; Washington, D.C. (Eastern Region)
Section 14: The Other Palm Springs” exposes a land battle at the core of the conflict between Western expansion and Indigenous peoples. A one-square-mile tract in downtown Palm Springs, California, Section 14 forms the heart of the reservation belonging to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. As the city evolved from a desert outpost to a playground of the rich and famous, Section 14 became more desirable to developers. Between the 1940s and 1960s, competing interests vied for this valuable land. It became a battleground over issues of tribal sovereignty, land zoning, leasing, economics, and race. “Section 14: The Other Palm Springs” was produced by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Media contacts: Eileen Maxwell, maxwelle@si.edu, Smithsonian Institution; Lisa Austin, austinl@si.edu, Smithsonian Institution.

National Museum of the American Indian Extends “Trail of Tears: A Story of Cherokee Removal”
Extended through Jan. 6, 2019; Washington D.C. (Eastern Region)
The Smithsonian Institution exhibition, “Trail of Tears: A Story of Cherokee Removal,” at the National Museum of the American Indian, has been extended through January 6, 2019, to accommodate holiday visitors to the museum. The exhibit traces the history of Cherokee Nation from its pre-contact origins in the Southeast, to its forced removal by the U.S. government west of the Mississippi in the 1830s, to its success today as the largest American Indian Nation in the United States. Media contacts: Eileen Maxwell, maxwelle@si.edu, Smithsonian Institution; Lisa Austin, austinl@si.edu, Smithsonian Institution.

Stretching Canvas: Eight Decades of Native Painting, National Museum of the American Indian (NY)
Fall 2019/Winter 2020; New York, NY (Plains Region)
Since 1940, many Native artists have pushed, pressed and expanded beyond narrow, market-driven definitions of American Indian art. Drawing from the National Museum of the American Indian’s rich permanent collection, “Stretching Canvas: Eight Decades of Native Painting” presents more than 40 diverse, exciting paintings that transcend, represent or subvert conventional ideas of authenticity. Media contacts: Eileen Maxwell, maxwelle@si.edu, Smithsonian Institution; Lisa Austin, austinl@si.edu, Smithsonian Institution.

Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery at the Southwest Museum of the American Indian
Ongoing; Los Angeles, California (Pacific Region)
Featuring more than 100 pieces of rare ceramics from the Autry’s Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, this Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery exhibition traces the dramatic changes that transformed the Pueblo pottery tradition in the era following sixteenth-century Spanish colonization to the present. Organized by Pueblo language groups, the show includes pieces by such well-known potters as Maria and Julian Martinez (Pueblo of San Ildefonso), Nampeyo (Hopi) and her descendants, Juan Cruz Roybal (Pueblo of San Ildefonso) and Tonita Peña Roybal (Pueblo of San Ildefonso), Gladys Paquin (Pueblo of Laguna) and many others. Media contact: Keisha Raines, Communications Manager, Autry Museum of the American West/Southwest Museum of the American Indian, communications@theautry.org

Isleta Resort & Casino Welcomes Historical Exhibit Featuring the Pueblo of Isleta
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Southwest Region)
In September, Isleta Resort & Casino will inaugurate Time Exposures, a special exhibit detailing the history of the Pueblo of Isleta. The exhibition, which has traveled throughout the country, tells the story of the Pueblo of Isleta through artifacts archived photographs, including images from such acclaimed photographers as Charles Fletcher Lummis, Sumner Matteson, Adam Clark Vroman and John K. Hillers. Visitors will also learn about early Isletan life through songs and stories that were recorded as early as 1904. Contact: Kayla Singletary, Public Relations Manager; Isleta Resort & Casino, Kayla.Singletary@Isleta.com

The People’s Center Showcases Horses and Horse Regalia in New Exhibition
Pablo, Montana (Plains Region)
The People’s Center (Sqelixw-Aqlsmaknik), a tribal museum owned and operated by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes in Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation is welcoming a new exhibition on horses and horse regalia, which will share the importance of horses to the tribes. Media contact: Marie Torosian, Program Director, The People’s Center Museum & Gift Shop; Marie.Torosian@cskt.org

Tours, Cruises & Attractions


Cunard Partners With Alaska Native Voices on New Insights Program
Inside Passage, Alaska (Alaska Region)
Alaska Native Voices along with members of the Huna Tlingit tribe, a group native to Glacier Bay and Icy Strait Point, will offer lectures and workshops about their history, culture, and storytelling on board all Cunard Line’s 2019 Alaska voyages. Passengers will learn about Alaska’s indigenous people at an information center hosted by cultural heritage guides onboard Queen Elizabeth. Media contact: Mario Fulmer, Visitor Programs Manager, Alaska Native Voices; mfulmer@alaskanativevoices.com

Cherokee Nation Welcomes New Cherokee National Peace Pavilion
Tahlequah, Oklahoma (Plains Region)
Cherokee Nation recently celebrated the opening of the new Cherokee National Peace Pavilion, which opened to coincide with the 175th anniversary of the 1843 intertribal peace gathering. The design pays homage to the large log structure that hosted what Cherokee Chief William P. Ross called “the most important Indian council ever held on the American continent.” At 4,600 square feet, the Pavilion can accommodate nearly 1,000 people and it will host community events, live music performances, markets and outdoor cultural classes. Media contact: Whitney Dittman, Public Relations Specialist, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Whitney.Dittman@cn-bus.com

Cherokee Nation Opens Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum
Tahlequah, Oklahoma (Plains Region)
Cherokee Nation is opening Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum after acquiring the historic property from the Oklahoma Historical Society late last year. The popular visitor attraction, which was the home of legendary statesman and inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, Sequoyah, features displays that share the story of Sequoyah, his development of the Cherokee syllabary and Cherokee language today. The cabin, constructed by Sequoyah in 1829, welcomes more than 12,000 visitors each year. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and a National Literary Landmark in 2006. The homestead includes a one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres. The museum is a part of the tribe’s popular tourism program, Cherokee Passport, which includes admission to five museums. Media contact: Whitney Dittman, Public Relations Specialist, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Whitney.Dittman@cn-bus.com

Hotels, Resorts & Other Accommodation


Legends Casino Hotel Completes Event Center Renovation
Toppenish, Wash. (Pacific Region)
After six years in the works, Legends Casino Hotel is welcoming the return of entertainment programming at its 1,720-seat events center. Kicking off the schedule were the Ladies of Native Comedy, who appeared on Nov. 9. The trio, the world’s first all-female, indigenous funny group, consist of Adrianne Chalepah (Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Plains Apache), Deanna MAD (Wolf Clan of the Tonawanda Seneca of New York) and Teresa Choycuha (Tohono O’odham Nation), who has won several awards for her role in the acclaimed independent film, “More than Frybread.” The new events center features all-new sound systems, seating and ticketing to accommodate the headlining acts. Comedy shows and concerts will continue through the end of the year and resume once again next February. Located just minutes off 1-82 and exit 50, one mile west of Toppenish, Legends Casino Hotel is owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. legendscasino.com

San Manuel Casino Breaks Ground on Major Expansion
Highland, California (Pacific Region)
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have started a major renovation, which will include San Manuel Casino’s first onsite hotel as well as a new 3,000-seat entertainment venue (the casino hasn’t had a large performance space in more than a year.) Every October, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians host the largest gathering of traditional and modern Native American culture in California at Cal State San Bernardino. Among the performers are the San Manuel Bird Singers, which derive their name not from the sounds, but rather from the migratory patterns of birds that paralleled the movement of people through the territory and tell the story of the creation, animals seen along the way, and sacred places. Media contact: Jenna Brady, Public Relations Manager, San Manuel Casino, JBrady@sanmanuel.com.

Third Indigenous Comic-Con to Unfold at Isleta Resort & Casino
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Southwest Region)
Get your geek on at the three-day Indigenous pop-culture convention, Indigenous Comic Con, November 2-4, 2018 at the Isleta Resort & Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The third annual event features the best Indigenous creators, illustrators, writers, designers, actors and producers from the worlds of comic books, games, sci-fi, fantasy, film, TV and graphic novels. Cosplay opportunities about, but avoid dressing Tonto or other Indigenous stereotypes. The event is sponsored by Native Realities, a publisher specializing in written works featuring Indigenous icons. Media contact: info@indigenouscomiccon.com.

For more information and updates, visit our AIANTA Members in the News page.