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“Native New York” exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian aims to promote a better understanding of culture and history – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, a new exhibit in Lower Manhattan honors New York’s Native Americans and their contributions to the state.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, the exhibit is at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. It’s called “Native New York”.

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Educator Carrie Gonzalez gave a tour of Hsu, who began by following a wooden path through the exhibit.

“So you travel through 12 different locations in upstate New York and we start here by going to Long Island,” Gonzalez said.

Each location has its indigenous name in orange, the indigenous history and map of the area, and what the name means. It takes you from eastern Long Island to Niagara Falls.

There is a section on the Empire State Building, highlighting the Mohawk ironworkers who helped build many of the city’s skyscrapers.

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“You can actually take that red path here to get a feel for what it would be like to walk on one of these beams,” Gonzalez said.

As you continue to walk, there is a large map of Manhattan, and parts of it change to look like what it looked like in the 1600s when you walk around.

The exhibit is designed for all ages and includes stories told through comics and lots of interactive elements, like a beaver skin that you can touch, and you can also listen to first-person testimonials.

The exhibition features a six-minute film titled “The Trouble with History”. The hope is that sharing specific Indigenous stories from the past and present will help educate and foster a better understanding of culture and history.

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Entrance to the museum is free, and it is even open on public holidays.

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