Groundbreaking for National Museum of the American Indian

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


The groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of the American Indian on The Mall in Washington, D.C., is held on 28 September 1999. In attendance are Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman, NMAI director Richard West, and representatives of many Native American tribes. The event included a blessing ceremony by Chief Billy Redwing Tayac of the Piscataway tribe. The building is based on a concept developed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, designed by Native American architect Douglas Cardinal, carried out by the architectural staff of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Cardinal, Douglas
  • Tayac, Chief Billy Redwing
  • West, W. Richard
  • Heyman, Ira Michael 5/30/1930-11/19/2011
  • Office of Design and Construction
  • Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates
  • National Museum of the American Indian (U.S.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Year 1999. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000, p. 37.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


September 28, 1999


  • Design
  • Secretariats
  • Groundbreaking
  • Architecture
  • Secretaries
  • Historians
  • New Museums
  • Museums
  • Piscataway Indians
  • Museum directors
  • Buildings
  • Building
  • Indians of North America--Museums
  • Architecture--Design and plans
  • Indians of North America


Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)

Full Record

View Full Record