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We Walk in Two Worlds

Historic Arkansas Museum - Sunday, March 29, 2015

Native Americans will be the focus at Historic Arkansas Museum for one of the most important exhibit gallery projects in our 65-year history. We are in the design and development stage of creating the state's largest permanent gallery dedicated to the interpretation of the Native American presence in Arkansas.

Osage Pipe Bag

The exhibit, We Walk in Two Worlds, will highlight the language, art, and life ways of Native Americans indigenous to Arkansas, the removal period from the Native American perspective and the continuing viability of these Nations. The exhibit, which will be located in the museum’s Cromwell gallery, is scheduled to open early 2009.

To help with the planning of the exhibit, we have brought together a blue ribbon advisory committee of representatives from Arkansas’s three historically indigenous Native American tribes—the Quapaw, Osage and Caddo—along with historians, anthropologists, and exhibit designers. In addition, we have been joined by former National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Deputy Director Jim Volkert, and current NMAI senior staff member Machel Monenerkit, who are serving as the project leaders and consultants. Jim and Machel’s long-term experience in planning and implementing exhibits for the nation’s premier museum of the American Indian make this relationship a perfect fit for Historic Arkansas Museum’s project.

Says Swannee Bennett, the museum’s deputy director and chief curator, “Our goal is to present the experience of Native Americans in Arkansas as told from an Indian voice. That is critical. Their message, and the message of the exhibit, is ‘We are still here. We are not just historical figures. We are contemporary 21st century Native American people who have a voice—a voice that can be heard today.’”