Fact Sheets

“Nation to Nation” Exhibition

September 19, 2014

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s exhibition “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations” begins in September 2014 (the 10th anniversary of the museum) and continues through fall 2018.

“Nation to Nation” documents the history of treaty making between American Indians and the United States, from the days of the early republic, when treaties were considered by both sides to be serious, diplomatic agreements based on the recognition of each nation’s sovereignty, to the U.S. government’s use in the 19th century of coercive treaties to dispossess Native Americans of their lands, to the 20th century, when Indian Nations successfully fought court and legislative battles for federal recognition of their treaty rights. The guest curator is Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee).

Exhibition Facts

  • 8,000-square-foot interactive exhibition in the former “Our Peoples” gallery, fourth level
  • Five sections: Introduction to Treaties; Serious Diplomacy; Bad Acts, Bad Paper; Great Nations Keep Their Word; and The Future of Treaties
  • More than 125 objects from the museum’s collection and other lenders, including original treaties, archival photographs, wampum belts, textiles, baskets and peace medals
  • Three museum-produced original videos narrated by Robert Redford and four museum-designed electronic touch-based interactive media stations

Tribal Communities

  • 37 tribes featured from 18 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces

 

Native Communities

Tribes featured individually in a case study:

Community

State(s)

Lenape

Pennsylvania, Oklahoma

Muscogee Creek Nation

Oklahoma

Haudenosaunee

New York

Citizen Potawatomi and Pokagon Potawatomi

Oklahoma, Michigan

Navajo

Arizona

 

Tribes featured collectively in a group case study (mentioned by name in a picture or object caption):

Horse Creek Treaty Case Study

Community

State

Yankton Sioux

South Dakota

Arapaho (Wind River Reservation-Eastern Shoshone &  

N. Arapaho)

Wyoming

Cheyenne (Northern Cheyenne)

Montana

Mandan (Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation)

North Dakota

Hidatsa (Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation)

North Dakota

Arikara (Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation)

North Dakota

Crow

Montana

Shoshone (Wind River Reservation-Eastern Shoshone &

N. Arapaho)

Wyoming

Assiniboine (Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Reservation)

Montana

 

California Case Study

Community

State

Kumeyaay/Diegueno

California

Maidu

California

Pomo

California

Yokuts

California

San Luis Rey

California

Cahuilla

California

 

Fishing Rights Case Study

Community

State(s)

Nisqually

Washington

Puyallup

Washington

Tulalip

Washington

Lummi

Washington

Quileute

Washington

Makah

Washington

Ojibwa

Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan

 

Isolated Artifacts, Photos and Captions

Community

State/Province

Cherokee

Oklahoma

Menominee

Wisconsin

Piegan

Piegan Reserve, Alberta, Canada

Kaw

Oklahoma

Omaha

Nebraska

Algonquin

Quebec

Huron-Wendat

Quebec, Oklahoma, Kansas

Kiowa

Oklahoma

Eastern Band Cherokee

North Carolina

Northern Tsitsistas (Cheyenne)

Montana

 

Original Treaties Displayed

At least nine original treaties on loan from the National Archives (shown successively, one at a time) will be displayed during the entire four-year run of the exhibition; each treaty will be displayed for approximately six months total before being rotated.

September 2014–February 2015
Treaty of Canandaigua between the Haudenosaunee and the United States, 1794

March 2015–August 2015                  
Treaty of New York between the Muscogee Nations and the United States, 1790

September 2015–February 2016         
Horse Creek Treaty (The Great Smoke; Fort Laramie Treaty; Treaty of Long Meadows) among the Arapaho, Arikara, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan and Sioux Nations and with the United States, 1851

March 2016–August 2016                  
Treaty between the Potawatomi Nations and the United States, 1836

September 2016–January 2017          
Treaty K, between the Native Nations in California and the United States, 1852 (Treaty at Temecula between the Luiseño, Cahuilla and Other Nations and the United States, ratified Jan. 5, Treaty Commissioner O.M. Wozencraft, unratified [Senate vote not to advise and consent], June 28)

February 2017–July 2017                   
Medicine Creek Treaty between the Nisqually, Puyallup and Squaxin Island Nations and the United States, 1854

August 2017–January 2018                
Treaty between the Potawatomi Nations and the United States, 1809

February 2018–July 2018                   
Treaty between the Navajo Nation and the United States, 1868

August 2018–September 2018            
Treaty between the Lenape (Delaware) Nation and the United States, 1778

Publication

“Nation to Nation” will be accompanied by a richly illustrated publication (272 pages) edited by Harjo, which features essays by prominent Native and non-Native historians and legal scholars, including Robert N. Clinton, Raymond J. DeMallie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale (Diné [Navajo]), Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Richard W. Hill, Sr. (Tuscarora), James Riding In (Pawnee) and Lindsay G. Robertson.

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SI-438-2014

Media only      
Leonda Levchuk  
(202) 633-6613 
levchukl@si.edu

Eileen Maxwell    
(202) 633-6615 
maxwelle@si.edu



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