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."

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.

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.


Uncomfortable for Some: Addressing Issues of Importance at AASLH

At AASLH’s 2013 Annual Meeting, three of us will conduct a panel  discussion on two uncomfortable (for some) topics: the histories of African-Africans and of American Indians.

My colleagues and I will focus on why it’s important for museum staff and visitors to address these topics. Some historians insist that these subjects have been researched sufficiently, that it’s time to move on. Many Americans also seem weary – and wary – about the history of this country’s treatment of these people.

We can see this desire to “leave the past in the past” in decades-long efforts to dismantle Affirmative Action and, most recently, in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down  “preclearance”: that is, protecting citizens’ rights by monitoring  voting practices in certain jurisdictions. Chief Justice Roberts declared that, while the 1965 Voting Rights Act has been “immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process,” such precautions, in his opinion, are no longer necessary.

Justice Ginsburg countered that Congress wanted preclearance to “catch discrimination before it causes harm, and to guard against returning to old ways.” She added that preclearance has clearly been successful, that eliminating it “is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you’re not getting wet.”

Unfortunately, Americans often want to gain historical perspective and discuss these legacies after a crisis erupts. If our nation can’t honestly acknowledge the complex reality of its past, fear and resentment will always simmer under the surface, only to break out, sometimes with tragic consequences.

What can we, as museum professionals, do? One thing is to identify those social, legal and economic perspectives that divide our communities and ourselves. We can also create programs that encourage frank discussions about our own histories.

Nicole Moore, Megan Byrnes, and I hope you’ll join us in discussing practical ways for museums - large and small – and their communities to acknowledge the past, incorporate it into our presentations, and move forward together.

See you in Birmingham!

Regina Faden is the Executive Director of Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) museum at the site of Maryland’s seventeenth century capital.  Before joining HSMC, she was the Executive Director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri on the banks of the Mississippi River.