Educator Programs

Professional development opportunities for teachers at the National Museum of the American Indian can benefit educators in all subject areas. Workshops span a range of topics and enable teachers to discover analytical approaches to connect the museum's collections and content with classroom teaching strategies. Sessions help educators explore new content about American Indian cultures and history and encourage new methods for teaching with objects in the classroom. Workshops include take-home materials and classroom resources, as well as new ideas for interdisciplinary curriculum connections.

Learn about the NMAI's educational resources—including curriculum for the classroom, teacher workshops, and educational strategies—in the museum’s free, quarterly teacher e-newsletter.

Visit this page regularly for information on upcoming NMAI workshops and special offerings for educators. Join the email list to receive announcements throughout the school year. Email the NMAI in Washington, D.C. (nmai-education@si.edu) or New York, N.Y. (nmai-ny-education@si.edu) with education-related inquiries.

Educator Programs in Washington, DC


Native American Stereotypes & Identity
Open House and Workshop
Friday, February 17, 2017
Film screening: 3:30 PM | Open House: 4:30–6 PM
Meet outside the Rasmuson Theater, First Level
NMAI, Washington, D.C.


In celebration of the exhibition For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw, this open house will engage teachers interested in learning more about the origin of stereotypes about Native peoples, and how to identify these stereotypes. Teachers will explore identity and culture through photographs, galleries, and hands-on strategies for teaching about Native peoples. Teachers are encouraged to form teams—art, social studies/history, language arts—for this event. Refreshments and classroom resources are included. The event is free. Register online; spots are limited.

Film: Columbus Day Legacy, 2010, 34 min. | United States, Documentary
Director: Bennie Klain (Navajo)
Producer: Leighton C. Peterson
Co-producer: Vision Maker Media
Executive Producer: Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux)

A conflict between Denver's Native American and Italian American communities during a Columbus Day celebration prompts this examination of issues of freedom of speech, the interpretation of history, and ethnic pride. Bennie Klain takes viewers into this very personal yet very public conflict, asking tough questions about identity and history in America.

Book cover, For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw, Nancy Marie Mithlo, ed. Published by NMAI, 2014. Photograph: Horace Poolaw (Kiowa, 1906–1984). Jerry Poolaw (Kiowa), on leave from duty in the Navy. Anadarko, Oklahoma, ca. 1944. 45HPF173 © 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw.

Educator Programs in New York, NY


Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists
Thursday, March 9, 2017; 5–7 PM
National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY
Diker Pavilion, First Level


The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York State. Join an inspiring and insightful discussion with Jeanne Shenandoah (Eel Clan, Onondaga Nation) and Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner from the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. Learn how Haudenosaunee women influenced the revolutionary vision of early feminists and radical reformers by providing a model for equality, leadership, and government in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Purchase a signed copy of Dr. Wagner's book, Sisters in Spirit, in the museum store.

This program is free. Please register online. Contact nmai-ny-education@si.edu or 212-514-3710 for inquiries and accommodations.

Image courtesy of Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, 2017.