Skip to main content
Chickasaw stomp dancers at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
1 of 1
  • States:
    New Mexico

Across the USA, an effort is continually made to preserve and share the storied and often tragic history of Indigenous Americans in North America.

Indigenous cultures on the continent have thrived for thousands of years, and visitors have the opportunity to learn about them by viewing exhibits, visiting living history museums, attending events, exploring ancient sites and talking with tribal members. Here are just some of the places and events in the USA where you can experience Indigenous American culture.

National Museum of the American Indian

Washington D.C.

The first national museum in the United States dedicated solely to Native American heritage, the National Museum of the American Indian, highlights over 12,000 years of history across more than 1,200 indigenous cultures. The museum features one of the world's most expansive collections of American Indian arts, artifacts, and photographic and media archives. Permanent exhibitions delve into native religions and ceremonies, as well as native communities' contemporary struggle for identity. Located on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall in a curved limestone building designed to represent a rock formation, the NMAI regularly hosts cultural festivals, concerts and symposia. At the museum's Mitsitam Native Foods Café, visitors can eat indigenous and contemporary cuisine from across the Americas such as tortillas and buffalo burgers. An extension of the museum opened in New York City, New York, adding 2,000 square meters of exhibition space and a new theater for film and video screenings.

Outside look of the stunning National Museum of the American Indian

Outside look of the stunning National Museum of the American Indian
View more

Cherokee Heritage Center

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

In the foothills of Oklahoma's Ozark Mountains lies the the Cherokee National History Museum, dedicated to preserving the culture and artifacts of the Cherokee tribe. The museum resides in the original Cherokee National Capitol building in downtown Tahlequah, walking distance to the Cherokee National Peace Pavilion, Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, and Cherokee National Prison Museum. The museum holds timeless art, tribal artifacts and multimedia displays providing insight into the great Cherokee Nation, all included in the free admission. The museum also offers cultural classes that promote traditional Cherokee arts, such as pottery and basketry, and holds annual art shows featuring traditional and contemporary Cherokee works.