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Washington DC Photo Gallery National Museum of the...

National Museum of the American Indian Grand Opening

Established in 1989, through an Act of Congress, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian opened its doors to the public on September 21, 2004. As part of the grand opening, a spectacular six-day First Americans Festival was held on the National Mall. The flags, feathers, and bright native clothing made for a multicolored display, and the air was filled with the smell of burned sage and the sounds of drums, bells and music.

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Native Nations Procession

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Native Nations Procession

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Native Nations Procession

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Native Nations Procession

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Hawai'i's Native Nations Procession

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Native Nations Procession

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Native Nations Procession

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Native Nations Procession

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DSC06957

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Dedication Ceremony

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Dedication Ceremony

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Dedication Ceremony

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NAMI Director, W. Richard West clad in traditional Native dress gives remarks at the opening ceremony.
The National Museum of the American Indian is really a symbol for something bigger and more important than even that beautiful Native place just across the street. And that is this: it is a symbol for the hope, centuries in the making, that the hearts and minds of all Americans, beyond this museum and throughout the Americas, will open and welcome the presence of the first peoples in their history and in their contemporary lives.

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Dedication Ceremony

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Dedication Ceremony

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