November 1, 2010 Library to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Eric Eldritch, (202) 707-0698

The Library of Congress will celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November with a number of special events. These events are free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

The Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS) will present excerpts from the film series “Navajo Film Themselves” from 1 p.m. to 2:30 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 16 in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library’s James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The division recently acquired the raw footage (96 reels of 16 mm reversal film) of the seven films that comprise the series as a gift from the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania. The series was produced in 1965 through a National Science Foundation-funded project that provided Navajo youth in Arizona with 16 mm cameras and basic instruction. The goal was to see what these amateur films would reveal about Navajo culture and visual language.

Collections staff of MBRS will introduce the program’s speakers, who include Kate Pourshariati, film archivist at the Penn Museum and Eunice Kahn (Diné), tribal archivist at the Navaho Nation Museum at Western New Mexico University. Kahn is related to two of the original filmmakers. The series, also referred to as “Through Navajo Eyes,” was selected by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington to be added to the National Film Registry in 2002. The registry recognizes films that have cultural, historical or aesthetic significance and ensures their preservation for all time.

As part of its “Homegrown” concert series, the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress will present “Carlos Nakai: American Indian Flute Music from Arizona” at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in the Coolidge Auditorium, located on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington. D.C. Nakai, of Navajo-Ute heritage, is the world’s best known performer of Native American flute music.

Native American items from the Library’s collections will be on display from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 in Room 119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building. Drawn from 15 Library divisions, the tabletop display will be interpreted by Library curators.

In addition to these events, a Native American Heritage Month online presentation will be accessible on the Library’s website at

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 10-250
ISSN 0731-3527