Native American Heritage Month events in DC, NYC and online


October 26, 2023

Native Knowledge 360° and Teaching for Change Virtual Teach-In: Indigenous Education

Saturday, Nov. 4, 12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Online, Cost is $15, and registration is required.

Register Now

Join the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and Teaching for Change for a day of online conversation, curriculum highlights, and ideas exchange. The teach-in will be held virtually via Zoom. Educators will take part in workshops that include relevant and resource-rich training experiences to support effective use of American Indian-focused classroom lessons, and resources from Teaching for Change and the museum. Find more information and register here. 

Artist Raven Chacon in Concert and Conversation

Saturday, Nov. 4, 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C.

Artist Raven Chacon is joined by Joy Harjo, Candice Hopkins, Ange Loft, Laura Ortman, and Olivia Shortt to present selections from his work, For Zitkála-Šá (2020). A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Chacon dedicated this portfolio of scores to contemporary Native American and First Nations women to celebrate their contributions to music. Following this piece, a local ensemble will perform ...lahgo adil'i dine doo yeehosinilgii yidaaghi (2004), which is held in the collection of the National Museum of the American Indian. This program marks the first time each of these compositions will be performed before a live audience in Washington, DC. The event will conclude with a conversation among the five For Zitkála-Šá performers, moderated by Chacon. A selection of works from this portfolio of thirteen lithographs is currently on view in SAAM's Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies.

This program is co-presented by the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with funding support from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. 

Honoring Native Veterans

Saturday, Nov. 11, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Washington, D.C.

Join the museum on Veterans Day 2023 to recognize and honor the military service of Native Americans. Events include family activities, a special presentation about the National Native American Veterans Memorial by the designer, Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), and Curator Rebecca Trautmann, special hospitality for veterans, and a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial, preceded by the presentation of colors by the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society.


10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.: Veterans Hospitality Suite, Patrons Lounge, Level 4

Veterans are invited to enjoy light refreshments in the museum's Hospitality Suite.

2:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.: Memorial Information and Family Activities, Potomac Atrium, Level 1

Veteran bookmarks: Learn more about Native veterans who have served throughout history at the Veterans Profiles Teaching Cart and take home a veterans profile bookmark.

Veteran postcards: Write a postcard to a veteran or active-duty service member and the museum will send it for you.

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.: Meet the Memorial Designer, Rasmuson Theater, Level 1

Memorial designer and veteran, Harvey Pratt, and Curator Rebecca Trautmann discuss the design process and creation of the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The conversation will be webcast at

4:00 p.m.–4:25 p.m.: Screening of Why We Serve (25 min.), Rasmuson Theater, Level 1

4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.: Presentation of Colors and Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the National Native American Veterans Memorial

The Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society will present the colors to open a wreath-laying ceremony lead by Director Cynthia Chavez Lamar at the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The Memorial Flame will be lit from 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Major support provided by The Boeing Company.

Native Cinema Showcase 2023

Friday, Nov. 17, to Friday, Nov. 24, 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m.


The National Museum of the American Indian's Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. For this year's theme, we highlight films of Indigenous perseverance that inspire, uplift, and triumph against adversity. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic.  

This program is funded in part by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Mexico Now: The Present and Future of Ancestral Practices

Saturday, Nov. 18, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

New York, NY

Learn how Chef Diana Wangeman preserves ancestral Oaxacan food practices. Following Wangeman will be a performance in the Diker Pavilion by Maya rapper Pat Boy, who uses music to preserve the Mayan language and teach rap to youth in his rural community in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.


1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.: Maize and Traditional Ingredients with Chef Diana Wangeman, Auditorium, Lower Level

Diana Wangeman was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she learned the traditional practice of processing corn from her mother, who is the chef and owner of the restaurant Tierra Antigua in Oaxaca. As the owner of the Brooklyn, NY, restaurant Sobre Masa, Wangeman works to raise awareness about ancient forms of maize cultivation and doing business in a responsible way.

2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.: Maya Hip-Hop with Pat Boy, Diker Pavilion, Level 1

Jesús "Pat Boy" Chablé started his solo career in 2009 mixing genres such as reggae, pop, and reggaeton in the Yucatec Mayan language. His work was recently featured in the Marvel blockbuster film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He is the co-founder and producer of ADN Maya Producciones, which nurtures young talent across the Yucatan Peninsula. He also produces the Ko'one'ex K'aay Rap Ich Máaya Festival and fosters Rap Ich Máaya T ́aan, a methodology he created for bilingual youth that promotes the Mayan language through rap improvisation and rhyming.

Native American Heritage Day: Honoring the Jingle Dress Dance

Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C.

Learn about the origin and significance of the jingle dress and Jingle Dress Dance with dancers Misty Solorio (Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation/Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation), Jennifer Night Bird Miller (Red River Métis), and Nathan Solorio (Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation/Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation). The dancers will be accompanied by father-and-son duo Ralph Zotigh (Kiowa/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo/Isante Dakota Indian) and Dennis Zotigh (Kiowa/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo/Isante Dakota Indian).

Image credit: Damon Bowe for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

Native American Heritage Day: Akwesasne Women Singers

Friday, Nov. 24, 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

New York, NY

The Akwesasne Women Singers are a group of young women, mothers, aunties, and grandmothers who came together to form a singing society. The group joins the museum on Native American Heritage Day to share their original compositions, written in a combination of English and Kanien'kéha, as well as traditional songs, accompanied by dance performances. The significance of each dance will be shared, and attendees will be invited to join the circle during Social Dances.

Directly after the conclusion of Native American Heritage Month, the museum hosts the yearly Art Market in Washington, D.C. and New York at the beginning of December.

Native Art Market

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2–3, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

New York, NY

The museum's annual Native Art Market features award-winning and innovative Indigenous artists from across the Western Hemisphere. This weekend event invites lovers of art and craftsmanship to meet Native artists and learn about traditional Native arts and contemporary Native creativity. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to purchase traditional and contemporary handcrafted artworks, including beadwork, jewelry, paintings, photography, pottery, and sculpture.


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