National Museum of the American Indian to Host Menominee Nation Cultural Day on Saturday, Dec. 10
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will honor the traditions and history of the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin with a special "Menominee Nation Cultural Day" celebration on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The event features a variety of activities that are free and open to the public. The Menominee Indian Tribe’s rich culture, history and residency in the area now known as the State of Wisconsin and parts of the States of Michigan and Illinois dates back 10,000 years. At the start of the Treaty Era in the early 1800’s, the Menominee occupied a land base estimated at 10 million acres; however, through a series of seven treaties entered into with the United States Government during the 1800’s, the Tribe witnessed its land base erode to little more than the 235,000 acres it occupies today. Of the tribe’s 235,000 acres, more than 219,000 acres are made up of abundant lakes, rivers, streams and forest. The Tribe experienced further setbacks in the 1950’s with the U.S. Congress’ passage of the Menominee Termination Act, which removed federal recognition over the Tribe and deprived the Menominee people of the right to their cultural identity. Fortunately, the Tribe won back its federal recognition in 1973 through a long and difficult grassroots movement that culminated with the passage of the Menominee Restoration Act on December 22, 1973. As a highlight, David Grignon, Director of the Menominee Tribe’s Historic Preservation Office and a speaker of the Menominee language, will host two presentations about the tribe's unique history and culture at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the NMAI Rasmuson Theater. As part of the celebration, the Menominee Drum Group, Str8 Across, featuring lead singer John Teller Jr., and traditional dancers from the Menominee Nation will perform in the museum's Potomac Atrium beginning at 11 a.m. Founded by John Teller Jr. and Marcus Deny and with members from the surrounding Great Lakes region, the traditional sounds of Str8 Across come from the teachings of the great singing groups in Menominee history. For more information about the National Museum of the American Indian, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu. Menominee Nation Cultural Day is co-sponsored by Master Key Consulting of Bethesda, Md., in celebration of its 10th anniversary as a leading Native American-owned firm.