After almost 15 years of planning, The National Museum of the American Indian opened on September 21 amidst celebrations of historic significance. Several Holland & Knight lawyers and tribal clients participated in many of the events during the week-long festival, including the Native Nations Procession in which thousands of native peoples, dressed in tribal regalia, marched from the Smithsonian to the Capitol.
The Grand Opening Ceremony took place on the National Mall where Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO) and Senator Daniel K. Inouye (HI) addressed the crowd. The week was filled with concerts, native food, dance performances, storytelling, and arts and crafts demonstrations at seven different venues.
The five-story museum features a curved limestone façade and 100 foot-high dome. The surrounding area is modeled after what historians think the D.C. area looked like before Europeans arrived and is filled with hundreds of plants, large rocks and a tumbling stream. The museum’s exhibits are designed to introduce Native American culture to non-natives and to help natives celebrate their culture.
Attorneys Shenan Atcitty, Philip Baker-Shenk, Deb Broken Rope, Holly Cook, Lynn Cutler, Jerome Levine, Teri Poust, Mary Prevost, Allyson Saunders and Gerry Sikorski attended many of the opening ceremony events.
Tribal leaders of the following Holland & Knight clients participated in the ceremonies:
Big Sandy Rancheria
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
Consolidated Tribal Health Consortium
Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians of California
Eastern Shoshone of Wind River
Ione Band of Miwok Indians
Jicarilla Apache Nation
Ketchikan Indian Community
Lower Lake Rancheria Koi Nation
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.
Mescalero Apache Tribe
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians
Poarch Band of Creek Indians
Red Lake Band of Chippewa
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Shoshone Paiute of Duck Valley
Tohono O'odham Nation
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