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Native American Heritage Month Best Celebrated at DC’s National Museum of American Indian

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The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. is offering an exciting experience of Native American Heritage Month for its visitors throughout November.

Both new music and dance combinations and traditional festivals, as well as concerts, curators’ talks and family activities will be featured in the museum’s events that will be celebrating the diversity and contributions of Native cultures.

Most of the events will be live-streamed and can also be watched at a later time online.

Among the museum’s Native American Heritage Month events are “the magical music and dance interpretations of Pamyua” that will be performed at the Rasmuson Theater on Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. Pamyua was founded in 1995 by Stephen and Phillip Blanchett, who are of Yup’ik and African American origin. It is known for its contemporary approach to Yup’ik drum-dance songs.

Hear Me Say My Name, an original multimedia play, can be seen at the museum on Saturday, November 23; Friday, November 29; and Saturday, November 30, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It was produced in cooperation with Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater.

“I am not your mascot, and I don’t live in a tipi. See me for who I am, hear me say my name,” the Smithsonian magazine quoted the play, stating that it questions “how American Indian stereotypes, prejudice, and identity shape the discussion of what it means to be a young person in our country today.”

“Día de los Muertos Weekend Festival” is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3 at 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It will be consisting of music, dance, and family activities. Visitors of all ages can participate in the event, where they will be painting an interactive mural with the help of artist Lilia Ramirez (Nahua).

Blackfeet Nation Tribal Festival is another highlight of the month that is also on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

According to Smithsonian magazine, currently 6.8 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives live in the United States, and millions more Indigenous people live across the Western Hemisphere.

Americans have been observing Native American Indian Heritage Month since 1990, when President George H. W. Bush dedicated the month of November as such.

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