Dear Kevin Gover,
As you know, there is a growing interest in Native land acknowledgments in the US.
Here in Washington, members of the DC City Council have begun using them during Council meetings.
My experience in Melbourne, AU over the last 12 years has sensitized me to the public acknowledgment of Indigenous people, since in Melbourne (as I have heard is also being done in Canada), public parks and many public buildings have permanent land acknowledgments at their entrances.
My question here is whether the NMAI in DC has a land acknowledgment for the Anacostans who once walked the land under the museum? Perhaps this already exists and I wasn't thorough enough in my search of online information about the NMAI.
If not, Indigenous Peoples' Day will be Oct 12, 2020, perhaps placing this acknowledgment could be part of the museum events for that day?
As you might recall, I have emailed you previously starting in 2016, when I learned there is a documented Anacostan Native site less than a mile from the NMAI, asking why visitors to the museum aren't being told about it. In 2018, I emailed again to ask about a possible real or online exhibit to tell the history of the Anacostans in Washington, DC. In other emails with your staff I have offered the contents of the Once As It Was Map of DC for use on the NMAI website at no charge.
As you know, there is great concern in the Native American and African American communities about the erasure of their history. A Native land acknowledgment in the NMAI would be a giant step in focusing attention on the Native Americans who once occupied the land that is now Washington, DC.
Armand Lione, Ph.D.
Director, DC Native History Project