Will Montana Museums Feel the Crunch of This New Law?

Native American heritage in Montana runs deep and is woven into our very DNA as a state.  With several heritage sights, including places like First People's Buffalo Jump State Park, or on the reservations that continue the traditions of yesterday.  There are many dedicated museums to that heritage also.  Even right here in Great Falls.

But what if those artifacts and history weren't on display?  Not being able to view the lifestyle, learn about Native American culture and keeping that lineage alive could be happening at those same museums that are trying to keep it alive.

Did You Know About This New Regulation That Just Went into Effect?

As of January 12th, 2024, the Biden administration along with the Department of Interior has enacted a new regulation regarding Native American artifacts.  The regulation states that:

require museums and federal agencies to consult and obtain informed consent from descendants, tribes or Native Hawaiian Organizations before displaying or researching human remains or cultural items

How will that affect what you see in those museums?  Well, a lot.  As of the date of the new regulation, the American Museum of Natural History has effectively closed two exhibits already.  Those exhibits included items such as traditional canoes, longhouse, tools, jewelry, even musical instruments.

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Will Montana Soon See Artifacts or Displays Missing?

In checking at one of our local Great Falls museums, I didn't notice anything amiss.  At least locally.  This could however be a large hit to those museums, including the Montana History Museum.

Another perhaps unintended consequence of this will be our school children.  One of the first things be eliminated at the American Museum of Natural History was the field trips from local schools.  Will our local schools also feel that pinch?

Montana Cowboys Association & Museum Highlights

Great Falls, MT is home to the Montana Cowboys Association & Museum located in the historic West Bank District. See highlights and a glimpse of what can be found in this hidden gem!

Gallery Credit: JD Knite

Amazing Wyoming Native American Art At Legend Rock

Legend Rock, just northwest of Thermopolis is one of 3 public petroglyph sites in Wyoming.

Passage of Peace Teepees Honor Native Americans

The Passage of Peace is 10 illuminated teepees on Oneida Indian Nation Land to recognize the Western Tribal Nations and the challenge Native Americans face. They are on display near Exit 33 off I-90 through the New Year.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

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