2015 Press Releases

National Archives Hosts Program on Indian Treaties November 20 at noon
Press Release · Thursday, October 23, 2014

Washington, DC

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations

On Thursday, November 20, at noon, the National Archives holds a special program titled Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations. Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), and Suzan Shown Harjo, guest curator of the new “Nation to Nation” exhibit at NMAI, explore the promises, diplomacy, and betrayals involved in treaties and treaty making between the United States government and Native Nations. A book signing follows the program.

This event is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Reservations are recommended and can be made online. For those without reservations, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance, located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. The building is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations presents the relationship between the United States and American Indian Nations through their treaties, and features original treaties negotiated between 1790 and 1868 on loan from the National Archives. One original treaty will be rotated in the exhibition every six months through fall 2018. National Archives holds 367 ratified treaties. These treaties were kept at the Department of State until they were transferred to the National Archives in the late 1930s.

The current treaty on display is the Treaty of Canandaigua between the Haudenosaunee (the Six Nations, or Iroquois Confederacy) and the United States. This Treaty, which has never before been exhibited, will be shown for the first six months. One of the earliest treaties made, it was signed by Cornplanter, Red Jacket, Handsome Lake and President George Washington in 1794.

The main case in “Nation to Nation” will feature these original treaties:

September 2014–February 2015 Treaty of Canandaigua, 1794

March 2015–August 2015 Muscogee Treaty, 1790

September 2015–February 2016 Horse Creek Treaty, 1851

March 2016–August 2016 Treaty with the Potawatomi, 1836

September 2016–January 2017 Unratified California Treaty K, 1852

February 2017–July 2017 Medicine Creek Treaty, 1854

August 2017–January 2018 Treaty with the Potawatomi, 1809

The companion volume to the exhibition, edited by Suzan Shown Harjo, features more than 125 historical and contemporary objects and photographs along with writings on the nature of laws, treaties and diplomacy. The book reveals how the ideas of honor, fair dealings, good faith, rule of law, and peaceful relations between nations have been tested and challenged in historical and modern times. It illustrates how and why centuries-old treaties remain living, relevant documents for both Natives and non-Natives in the 21st century.

To verify the date and times of the programs, view the Calendar of Events online.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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