Nov 3, 2023 - Things to Do

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in D.C.

Indigenous performers dance to celebrate Native American Heritage Month at the Library of Congress.

Dancers perform at the Library of Congress for Native American Heritage Month. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images

November is Native American Heritage Month, and there are plenty of ways to commemorate this year's theme of "Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity" around D.C.

The big picture: The D.C. area has rich Native American history — it sits on Piscataway, Anacostan, and Pamunkey land, and Indigenous people once fished near Great Falls and lived on Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Here are some local ways to celebrate and learn about Native culture:

Check out an event at the National Museum of the American Indian:

Attend a host of other Smithsonian happenings:

  • Saturday: Head to the American History Museum to hear chef Mariah Gladstone discuss Indigenous people using traditional food and land practices for sustainability.
  • Nov. 16: Tune into an American Art Museum-hosted convo between artists Geo Neptune and Lily Hope and Darienne Turner, the Brooklyn Museum of Art's curator of Indigenous art.

Head to D.C.'s public libraries for events:

  • Saturday: Visit the Lamond-Riggs library to hear author Carole Lindstrom discuss her picture book about Indigenous rights activists, "Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior."
  • Nov. 18: The Mt. Pleasant library will host a celebration featuring a dive into Piscataway history, and readings from books by Indigenous writers.

See some art:

  • The Renwick is currently displaying over 50 pieces by six Indigenous artists as part of its series showcasing emerging contemporary artists.

Go on a self-guided walking tour:

  • Guide to Indigenous D.C. explains the Indigenous history and connections at local sites, including Dumbarton Bridge and the Iwo Jima Memorial. The app and website were developed by AU assistant professor Elizabeth Rule, a Chickasaw Nation member.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Darienne Turner is the Brooklyn Museum of Art's curator of Indigenous art, and no longer the Baltimore Museum of Art's assistant curator of Indigenous art.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more