Explore American Indian culture, from creation stories to modern-day life, this November in Nevada.
The state is home to three major American Indian tribes — Washoe, Paiute and Western Shoshone — all with rich and nuanced histories and traditions to share. Recognizing the contributions of American Indians, Gov. Brian Sandoval has proclaimed November to be American Indian Heritage Month in Nevada. The Nevada Commission on Tourism offers a few ways your audience can learn about the state’s vibrant American Indian community:
Native American Day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Lost City Museum in Overton, about 64 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Visitors can take in performances by American Indian dance groups and demonstrations by American Indian artists. The museum, built in 1935, features exhibits on the ancient Anasazi civilization that once existed in the area. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday; admission is $5, free for children younger than 18. Details: 702-397-2193.
The Pahrump Social Powwow runs from 10 a.m. Nov. 16 to 3 p.m. Nov. 18 in Pahrump, about 64 miles west of Las Vegas. The event begins with participants giving thanks and honoring American Indian veterans, followed by displays and performances by drummers, dancers, musicians and crafters from tribes throughout the West. Details: 775-727-5800.
Under One Sky, a permanent exhibit at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, tells the story of Nevada Indian culture from the perspective of local American Indians as well as the scientific community. Features include a display of Fox Peak, central to the creation stories of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe. The museum, 708 N. Curry St. in Carson City, is open Wednesday through Saturday; admission is $8. Details: 775-687-4810.
Learn about American Indian boarding schools through an audio tour at the Stewart Indian School, 5500 Snyder Ave. in Carson City. Here, listen to stories told by former students on a self-guided audio tour that can be accessed through personal cell phones. The Stewart Indian School operated from 1890 to 1980; today, the site is owned by the state and houses government offices.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center currently is exhibiting traditional Paiute buckskin dresses. Permanent displays describe the tribe’s history and culture and explain the significance of Pyramid Lake — a desert lake covering 125,000 acres — to the tribe. The museum and visitors center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information on American Indian events and cultural sites in Nevada, contact Indian Territory — which promotes Nevada Indian cultural and special events, visitors' centers and tribal enterprises — through its website, www.nevadaindianterritory.com.
For information on planning a trip to Nevada, visit TravelNevada.com.