Native American Voices: Come and Listen

The Penn Museum’s current exhibit Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now is a powerful celebration of contemporary indigenous cultures as living, breathing entities. Native American history as commonly recounted in the United States is a tale of woe and loss, framing Native groups as near extinct and struggling to survive. Post-contact Native history is […]

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Graffiti as History

Vandalism normally is bad for historic sites.  It is destructive and illegal, especially when done on federal property.  So why does the National Park Service protect Native American graffiti on Alcatraz Island? When Alcatraz Island became a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972, the NPS assumed responsibility for preserving and interpreting […]

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When Authenticity Matters

As a woman in today’s culture, I can’t deny that I love a new piece of jewelry. Be it a gift from a special someone or window-shopping at the mall, I am attracted to the shiniest thing in the display case. Buying the most unique item in the store is often the goal, with hopes […]

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Awkward Understanding

I was an exceptionally awkward teenager. I typically had few, if any friends. I conversed more easily with adults twenty to thirty years my senior than I ever did with my compatriots. The only place I really felt like I belonged was on the football team, but even then, my tendency to read books in […]

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