THE DIVERSITY OF NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURES
Founded in 1980, the Museum of Indian Culture is a unique member-supported, volunteer run, non-profit resource center for people of all ages to learn about Native American cultures, especially from the northeast, but also throughout the western hemisphere. Our mission is to preserve and perpetuate the authentic histories and cultural heritage of Native American peoples--past, present, and future. For over 40 years, the museum has offered educational exhibits, programs, internships, and collaborative community events for the greater Lehigh Valley and beyond. Our services set the standard for Native American education in eastern Pennsylvania.
An essential part of our mission is to embody and promote reconciliation and collaboration with federally recognized Indigenous Nations, who are involved in a variety of ways with the museum. As a Native American museum we acknowledge our responsibility to work collaboratively with Native peoples to develop educational resources, community services, and tribal opportunities--especially with those whose ancestral homelands we reside on. In 2020 the museum officially partnered with Delaware Nation from Anadarko, Oklahoma to open an extension of their Historic Preservation Office at the museum. Through this partnership we hope to foster greater public awareness of local Lenape history as well as contemporary Lenape life and culture.
It is important to acknowledge that what we know today as Pennsylvania has been part of the Lenape's ancestral homelands since time immemorial. The museum is situated on the beautiful Little Lehigh Parkway, which was an old Lenape trail called the Oley Path. The name "Oley" is believed to be derived from the Lenape word "Olink," which they used to refer to the region as "place surrounded with hills." We encourage visitors to reflect on the history of this land and its Indigenous peoples, and remember that they are still here today, as they enjoy the museum and the parkway. The parkway offers additional activities including walking or running the nature trails, bike riding, fishing, birdwatching, or enjoying a peaceful picnic lunch.
Our Northeastern Woodlands Room showcases the cultural heritage of the Delaware/Lenape Indians and other Northeastern Woodlands tribes. The exhibits include artifacts, cultural items, agricultural tools, trade goods, and interactive hands-on activities like fire-starting kits, pump drills, and atlatls (spear-throwers).
Our Inter-Tribal Room displays a variety of American Indian artistry from throughout the western hemisphere, including beadwork, dolls, basketry, pottery, dance regalia and more from the Southwest, Alaska, Central and South America, and the Midwest.
The Museum offers a variety of on-site and off-site educational programs for public and private schools, homeschoolers, colleges, youth groups, social groups, businesses, and libraries. Programs are available for all age groups and ability levels, and they are a great way to introduce children and community groups to Native American cultures. A pilot Discovery Box program will soon be available for homeschool families and elementary and middle school groups.
As a small non-profit museum, we rely on our visitors and public events for life sustaining income, so this COVID-19 closure has been devastating for us. We will need our community's help to keep the museum alive and bring back our Roasting Ears of Corn Festival next year. Your generous donations are much appreciated, and we truly appreciate any support you can give us during this difficult time. Thank you!
Do you shop on Amazon? You can help support the Museum of Culture every time you make a purchase using Amazon Smile!
Step 1: Log into your Amazon account through this link: https://smile.amazon.com
Step 2: Select the Museum of Indian Culture in the charitable organization search bar
Step 3: Shop away, and a portion of your purchase will be donated to the museum! Every item available on Amazon is also available on Amazon Smile at the same price.
© 2020 Museum of Indian Culture