New York City – Free Travel 1: Liberty and Museum of the American Indian

New York City is one of the world’s largest metropolises. NYC is an expensive town, so anything of quality which you can do for free is really great! The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian is a great free-admission venue. It’s right at the southern tip of Manhattan, with a chance to see the Statue of Liberty, across the water.

Speaking of Liberty – did you know Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress invited the Chiefs of The Six Nations (Iroquois Confederacy) in what came to be known as New York State, to listen to how their Democratic Confederacy was organized? They sure did!

The chiefs came June 11, 1776, and carefully explained their government. The USA Founding Fathers, then modeled the constitutional Republic of the United States of America on the Algonquin and Hebrew tribal models.

These ancient peoples’ ways were the basis for our Liberty, not the Greeks, who most people laud, erroneously. People look at a Statue of Liberty, made in France, as our symbol, when the living peoples who taught the world are still here, but are left to be forgotten, disrespected and dishonored. Only you can change that.

Although the Museum showcases Native American tribal peoples from both continents, make your way to learn about the New York and New England tribes first. They gave the invading Europeans hospitality, and paid with their lives or were sidelined as soon as possible. It’s a national disgrace, but only knowledge and advocacy remedies that. So learn. You can make a difference, today!

We are still catching up to the wisdom, respect for the land and one another that many tribes exhibited generations ago. In fact, Susan B. Anthony, when she was starting the fight for “Women’s Rights”, cited the fact that the Algonquin Iroquois Confederacy women had these rights and lots more, already! See their strong values below — what a great heritage! Honor the First Nations.

“We, the women of the Iroquois
Own the Land, the Lodge, the Children
Ours is the right to adoption, life or death;
Ours is the right to raise up and depose chiefs;
Ours is the right to representation in all councils;
Ours is the right to make and abrogate treaties;
Ours is the supervision over domestic and foreign policies;
Ours is the trusteeship of tribal property;
Our lives are valued again as high as man’s.”

The Museum is near Battery Park and is housed in the stunning 1907 Beaux Arts building: Alexander Hamilton US Customs House. Its thought-provoking exhibits contain over a million works concerning Native American peoples (and their customs): ancient artifacts; pottery masterpieces, basketry, apparel and other objects. There are often workshops and lectures so ask when you first arrive, but try to set that up by looking at their website, first.

1 Bowling Green, Heye Center, New York, NY 10004 212-514-3700 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Thursdays until 8 p.m. Closed on December 25.

The Museum Stores are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gift shop there is a great place to get really American gifts, but so is American Indian Community Center – 11 Broadway, NYC, (2nd floor) just a few blocks from the museum and it’s the only tribally-owned Native American Gift-shop in NYC.

Learn about the first New Yorkers! Seek them; their tribes still exist. For about 550 generations, across 12 millennia, Native Americans occupied Long Island long before any Europeans arrived. The City has nothing except this Museum to acknowledge their existence, and it’s a national, educational project long in coming, too. Let others know you want the Native Americans visibly honored and protected in this great city which was and is their home!

Learn more in the New York article archive.
©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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