White text runs horizontally across a black and white photo of marching protesters holding signs, placards, and drums, protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Webinar: History Check-In: Native American Activism

In this History Check-in webinar, Dr. Philip Deloria (Dakota) provides an overview of Native American activism. This webinar is part of the History Check-In webinar series, a partnership between the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). Each webinar in this series is designed to provide history professionals from throughout the field with an update on the current state of historiography for a particular subject.

Participant Outcomes:

  • Participants will develop an understanding of the range of political philosophies and strategies that have characterized Native American activism, including protest, public address, written appeals, petitions, legal work, ally-ship, among others.
  • Participants will develop an understanding of the long trajectory of activism, within and against distinct strategies of landtaking and settler colonialism.
  • Participants will be able to link understandings of the breadth and depth of Indian activism to specific recent manifestations, including the American Indian Movement and the Standing Rock resistance.


DATE: Tuesday, December 11, 2018

TIME: 3:00 – 4:15 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone!)

COST: $20 Members of AASLH, OAH, & ATALM (OAH & ATALM members should contact their membership associations for a discount code) / $30 Non-members

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact learn@aaslh.org for more information.



ImagePhilip Deloria (Dakota) is a professor of history at Harvard University. His research and teaching focus on the cultural and ideological intersections of Indian and non-Indian worlds. His first book, Playing Indian (1998), traces the tradition of white "Indian play" from the Boston Tea Party to the New Age movement, while his Indians in Unexpected Places (2004) examines the ideologies surrounding Indian people in the early twentieth century and the ways Native Americans challenged them through sports, travel, automobility, and film and musical performance. He is a coeditor, with Neal Salisbury, of The Blackwell Companion to American Indian History (2001) and, with Jerome Bernstein, of C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions (2009) by Vine Deloria Jr. His most recent book, coauthored with Alexander Olson, is American Studies: A User's Guide (2017), which offers a comprehensive treatment of the historiography and methodology of the field of American Studies. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, Deloria taught at the University of Colorado and at the University of Michigan where he also served as the associate dean for undergraduate education and directed the American culture and Native American studies programs. He is a trustee of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, where he chairs the Repatriation Committee; a former president of the American Studies Association; and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently completing a project on American Indian visual arts of the mid-twentieth century and coediting, with Beth Piatote, "I Heart Nixon: Essays on the Indigenous Everyday."

War and Peace: Following the Footsteps of the Huron-Wyandot

On Wednesday, September 14 from 8:30am-5 pm, attendees of the AASLH/MMA 2016 Annual Meeting in Detroit will have the chance to attend a unique guided tour called “War and Peace: Following in the Footsteps of the Huron-Wyandot.” and its sites of interest. Tickets are only $55 and can be purchased when you register for the Annual Meeting. More information on tours can be found in the Preliminary Program.

Experience the power of Southeast Michigan’s historically contested lands as you “Follow the Footsteps of the Huron-Wyandot” with Grand Chief Ted Roll and Second Chief Susan Warrow of the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation along with the National Park Service.


Driven by the vast natural wealth within the native Wyandot lands, European Nations wared over control of the region’s resources for nearly 100 years. Considered the First Nation by indigenous people of the Great Lakes, the Wyandot were held in high esteem by other tribes and carried the honor of being the multi-tribal “Keepers of the Council Fire” where important decisions were made.   On this trip, you will get a glimpse of American history revealed like never before as you visit significant sites leading up to the War of 1812 from a Wyandot perspective.

Your Journey will begin in Detroit, which was co-founded by the Wyandot, Odawa, Potawatomi and French nations in 1701.   As you travel to your fist stop, at Battle of Fallen Timbers in Maumee, Ohio, you will learn about the region’s history from the mid 1700’s through Revolutionary War.  At Fallen Timbers you will walk in the footsteps of Wyandot warriors including 8 chiefs that lost their lives in battle as the U.S. took control of the Great Lakes for the first time in history.


Corduroy Road
Corduroy Road

From Fallen Timbers, you will explore the American Indian Confederation’s greatest victory in the War of 1812 at the Battles of the River Raisin.  Your trek will continue along Michigan’s First road and where you will see a 200 year-old segment of corduroy road before venturing to the Lake Erie Metropark’s Wyandot exhibit and visiting the former Tribal Seat of Government, the “Big Rock” or “Brownstown Village” and Brownstown Battlefield.    The tour path will then take you to the Maguaga village (current day Wyandotte, MI) where you will visit historic Wyandot lands, statues, and battle site.  The last stop on the tour will include the historic Springwells site (Fort Wayne) in Detroit should time permit.


Fallen Timbers
Fallen Timbers

At Fallen Timbers National Historical Site, the Western Confederacy, formed by several Native American tribes, including the Wyandot Tribes of the Sandusky and Detroit regions, fought against General “Mad” Anthony Wayne’s Legion of the United States on August 20, 1794.  The United States had been ceded the lands occupied by the tribes in the Treaty of Paris, 1783, by the British, without the representation or consent of the tribes.  This alliance of warriors from the Western Confederacy tribes started out strong in the battle, however, reinforcements were delayed for various reasons and the native warriors retreated to the area of a fort occupied by the British.  The British who encouraged the Native Americans to defend their land, then offered them no aid in the fight.

Second stop of the tour is at River Raisin National Battlefield Park Battlefield.  This battlefield was the site of several battles, including the Battle of Frenchtown, which was the worst defeat for the U.S. in the War of 1812.  The battle against the U.S. was with an alliance formed by the British and 13 tribal nations lead by Wyandot warriors.   Word soon spread throughout the U.S., and the surprise victory by the alliance was characterized as a massacre, creating an emotive cry, “Remember the Raisin”, becoming the first U.S. wartime rally cry.


Six Points
Six Points

Next on the tour, elements of the Corduroy Road, Hull’s Trace, the supply road to Detroit from the River Raisin during the War of 1812 are discussed at the site the last visible log portion of the road can be viewed.  The Wyandots of Michigan signed a treaty to permit building of the road in February 1809, in exchange the U.S. was to grant them their lands in southeast Michigan in perpetuity in the Treaty of Brownstown.  However, the US Congress failed to sign the treaty as presented to the Wyandot, granting them their lands for only fifty years.  This greatly upset the Wyandot, leading the Wyandot in Michigan to ultimately side with Great Britain and the Native Alliance during the War.

On Wednesday, September 14 from 8:30am-5 pm, attendees of the AASLH/MMA 2016 Annual Meeting in Detroit will have the chance to attend a unique guided tour called “War and Peace: Following in the Footsteps of the Huron-Wyandot.” and its sites of interest. Tickets are only $55 and can be purchased when you register for the Annual Meeting. More information on tours can be found in the Preliminary Program.

AASLH Members Receive More Than $500K in IMLS Grants

Nine AASLH member institutions dedicated to preserving African-American and Native American history and culture have been awarded prestigious grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). These grants, representing funds of more than $500,000, will be used to develop language and culture workshops, create and expand exhibits, stabilize and digitize primary sources, protect collections, and many other worthy projects. We congratulate our members on the hard work that led to these awards, and look forward to seeing the results of these endeavors!

African American Museum of Iowa (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Akwesasne Cultural Center (Hogansburg, NY)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Center (Shawnee, OK)
Jack Hadley Black History Museum (Thomasville, GA)
John Hair Cultural Center and Museum (Tahlequah, OK)
Kansas African American Museum (Wichita, KS)
Makah Cultural and Research Center (Neah Bay, WA)
Tamastslikt Cultural Institute (Pendleton, OR)
Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum (Sells, AZ)

See the full grant lists here and here.

Meet a Member: Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida

Meet a Member is a biweekly blog series spotlighting our members. AASLH has 5,500 fascinating members working hard for the field of history, and we want to show them off. Each month we feature one individual and one organization. 


Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Member of AASLH since 2007

The Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida is a place for Tribal members and visitors to learn and remember (the meaning of Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki in the Mikasuki language).

The Village on the Museum grounds, where Tribal members make and sell traditional Seminole crafts.
The Village on the Museum grounds, where Tribal members make and sell traditional Seminole crafts.


When and why was the museum established?

The Museum was opened in 1997 on the grounds of Chairman James E. Billie’s old campgrounds.  He set aside the land in order to have a place to tell the Seminole story. The official mission of the Museum states that we strive to celebrate, preserve and interpret Seminole culture and history and be an essential resource for the cultural heritage of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.


Tell us about your staff and volunteers.

Despite our remote location, we have a vibrant intern and volunteer program in the Collections division. Interns come from nearby universities on a professor’s recommendation. Both volunteers and interns generally come once a week and scan documents and photos, enter information into the database, or digitize newspapers, for example. They also work with exhibit creation, conservation, and attend division meetings in an effort to familiarize each with the field of museum work.

Front of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
Front of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum


What does an AASLH membership mean for the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum? How has the museum benefited from AASLH membership?

Membership in the program has given us access to so many great resources. And it is an honor to be affiliated with other museums and programs in the state.

Editor’s note: The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is enrolled in AASLH’s Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs).


Newly refurbished clan pavilion, explaining the Seminole clan system. Located on the mile long boardwalk that winds through the cypress dome directly behind the Museum, and leads to the Village.
Newly refurbished clan pavilion, explaining the Seminole clan system. Located on the mile long boardwalk that winds through the cypress dome directly behind the Museum, and leads to the Village.

Why is history important to the museum?

History is everything to our Museum since we connect history to the present-day Seminole Tribe of Florida. For example, one of our most well-received exhibits recently was on Seminole patchwork, entitled “Modern Seminole Patchwork: It’s Not a Costume.” Although the patchwork technique is over 100 years old, it has been adapted and continues to be worn in modern times. History informs the present.



What is happening or upcoming at your institution?

We have a fascinating new exhibition, "Struggle for Survival, 1817 – 1858," which opened in December and runs through November 24, 2016.  It deals with the idea that between 1817-1858 there were not three separate wars but one long tumultuous conflict that included removal efforts by the U.S. military and a resistance that allows the Tribe to call itself the Unconquered. We also have an oral history exhibit installed in our Nook gallery featuring Tribal members’ stories and remembrances of growing up Seminole.


Connect with the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum:

Website - Facebook - Twitter


These answers were edited for length and clarity. Want to be featured? Email Hannah Hethmon to learn more. Click here to read about more featured members. Click here to learn more about an AASLH Institutional Membership.

Peabody Essex Museum Receives $750K Grant to Expand Native American Fellowship

The Boston Globe reported this morning that the Peabody Essex Museum (AASLH member since 2002) has received a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in order to expand their Native American Fellowship program.

The three-year grant...will enable the museum to increase the number of fellows it admits annually, extend the program to 12 weeks, and introduce more formal mentoring programs...

First created by the museum six years ago, the Native American Fellowship program is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country. Reserved for students of Native American or native Hawaiian descent, the program provides specific fellowships in curatorial, educational, media, and manuscript processing...

Mariët Westermann, vice president of the Mellon Foundation, said the grant to the PEM was in keeping with the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to increase staff, audience, and programming diversity within art museums, making them “more representative of the great and rapidly changing diversity of the American people.”

“Since we possess one of the most important collections of Native American art we have responsibilities that exceed simply assuring that it’s properly cared for and that we’re doing innovative exhibitions and publications,” [Dan Monroe] said. “We feel a responsibility for actually helping steward and support the continuation and advancement of Native American and native Hawaiian cultures.”

Read the entire article at The Boston Globe.


Image from Native Fashion Now, an upcoming exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum

AASLH Introduces New Book Series: Interpreting History Series

This major new series from the American Association for State and Local History  and Rowman & Littlefield Publishers provides expert, in-depth guidance in interpretation for museum and historic site professionals. The books will help practitioners expand their interpretive skills and apply it to a broader range of American History.

AASLH Members Save 25% off Any Title Through December 31st! Use code 4F14MSTD at checkout.

The first books in the series are

Call Rowman & Littlefield Customer Service at 1-800-462-6420 or click on the book's page to add to cart.

Offer ends December 31, 2014.

*When ebooks are available, the discount applies.

Ojibwe and Dakota Indians in Northern Minnesota

The history of north central Minnesota is rich and deep with the area first inhabited by the Dakota people, and then by the Ojibwe. This all day tour at the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting will explore lands connected to thousands of years of human habitation.

Start your day at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, the site of ongoing archaeology studies and interpretive trails. It's 9,000 years of human history and archaeological significance has made it a National Historic Landmark.

Then travel to the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post and learn the story of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

Finally, end your day with a stop at the historic trading post where you can take home hand-made Indian items from the land and around the country.

inidans - trading post
Ojibwe and Dakota Indians in Northern Minnesota
Wednesday, September 17
8 am–5 pm
Cost : $75, tour fee in addition to Annual Meeting registration fees.

AASLH 2014 Annual Meeting To Feature Two Specialized Tracks

Contact: Bethany Hawkins

The 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting is packed with sessions, workshops, tours, and events. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind annual meeting, good history and good times! You are guaranteed to find all the sessions and training you need to help you Do History, such as interpretation, collections, community collaborations, funding, and marketing. Early Bird Rate Ends July 25.

This year's Annual Meeting will feature two Specialized Tracks. Both tracks will offer a combination of sessions, workshops, and/or events that relate to the Annual Meeting Theme "Greater Than The Sum of Our Parts." Additionally, each track will also focus on a specific topic related to the field. Sessions and events associated with a Track will be indicated as such in the Onsite Program guide.

Tribal Track
The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM)  is pleased to partner with AASLH to present a series of programs that inspired collaboration and provide insight into diverse cultures, with an emphasis on Native Nations. Sessions in this track include topics such as Native interpretation at battlefields, cultural considerations of object care, and digitizing Native American collections.

Historic Preservation Track
AASLH welcomes the 34th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference for Minnesota to present sessions and programs focused on preserving the built environment and historic preservation. Sessions include topics such as interpreting historic commercial districts, using volunteers for preservation services, and the restoration of a Hurricane Katrina ravaged historic cottage. The Historic Preservation Track is sponsored by 3M.