George Washington University to collaborate with Indigenous communities to create 'Guide to Indigenous Washington, DC'

The George Washington University will help develop a "Guide to Indigenous Washington, D.C.," featuring historical and contemporary sites of importance to Native peoples.(Photo: George Washington University AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy)

The AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy will help to develop a 'Guide to Indigenous Washington, DC' featuring historical and contemporary sites of importance to Native peoples

News Release

George Washington University

The AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy at the George Washington University has announced it will help develop a “Guide to Indigenous Washington, DC,” featuring historical and contemporary sites of importance to Native peoples. The guide is being sponsored, in part, after the Center received notification that it had received grant support from the Minneapolis Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy, through the #GenIndigenous Response Fund, which was created to support the important work of Native youth advocacy to build lasting youth power.

The guide, which will be made available to the public, will emphasize the importance of our nation’s capital to Native Americans. It will highlight places that are significant to Native American communities and acknowledge the Indigenous people who were on these lands before it became the District of Columbia. This educational tool will empower Native youth who visit Washington, D.C. to understand the history of Native Americans in this country and how policy decisions made in Washington, D.C. impact them and their communities. 

“We are thrilled to build a resource to present these places to our own communities, tribal leaders and tribal youth,” said Wendy Helgemo, director of the center. “It is also important as it will reach a broader audience of DC visitors and the policymakers who are here making decisions about Native Americans every day to make sure we are visible and our stories are heard.” 

In developing the resource, the center will partner with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and work with historians, tribal organizations that are headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the Maryland and Virginia Indigenous communities. 

“We are excited to be working with the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy on this first-of-its-kind local guidebook,” said Camille Ferguson, executive director of American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. “Although there is very little chronicled about Native Americans in the capital region, Indigenous people have played a significant role in helping shape the landscape and the policies of our country.” 

The guide book will include historic and contemporary sites of linked to Native Americans including the United States Capitol, the Embassy of Nations, the Congressional Cemetery, National Museum of the American Indian, Piscataway Park and the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), which immortalizes six United States Marines on Iwo Jima during World War II, including Ira Hamilton Hayes, a Pima Native American. One of the first groups that will use the guide will be the INSPIRE Pre-College Program during their time at the George Washington University. 

About AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics & Policy

Through research, scholarship and service, the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics & Policy supports tribal leaders and engages indigenous youth to promote public awareness and develop the political tools that will help them overcome challenges within their communities. AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics & Policy analyzes a number of politically significant issues facing indigenous communities, including public health, adequate housing, economic security, and education. https://cipp.cps.gwu.edu/

About AIANTA

For more than two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the national center for providing tourism and recreational travel technical assistance, training and capacity building to American Indian nations. American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian and Alaska Native tourism that honors traditions and values. www.aianta.org.

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