Situated between the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, KID Museum is located in Bethesda, Maryland, the native ancestral home of the Piscataway and the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) Nations, and in close proximity to the Manahoac Nation. Along with the Piscataway Conoy Tribe, the Piscataway Indian Nation received recognition by the State of Maryland in 2012. We acknowledge their long-standing kinship with these lands and waters, and acknowledge that we are uninvited visitors on Indigenous lands.
These Indigenous peoples continue to be innovators, makers, artists, and problem-solvers here as they have for generations. Today, the Piscataway Indian Nation continues to celebrate their culture with traditional events such as the Seed Gathering in early spring, the Feast from the Waters in early summer, and a Green Corn Festival in late summer. Anacostan, Manahoac, Lenni Lenape, Shawnee, and indigenous people from other Nations live in Maryland, as well, and continue to make innumerable contributions to our region.
Committed to working in partnership with our community to remove barriers to quality STEM education experiences, focused on joy, authenticity, and sustained relationship building, KID Museum supports Indigenous people and Nations in our state and beyond. To fulfill this commitment, we have listed the following ongoing actions we are making or intend to make in the near future:
- We will define STEM and innovation, acknowledging the contributions of indigenous knowledge, art, and traditions as some of the earliest forms of innovation.
- We will use our platform and programs to amplify, acknowledge, and respect the voices and knowledge of Indigenous peoples, and we commit to collaborating with Indigenous creators, artists, makers, and scientists in our programming.
- Moving forward with this year, 2023, and every year thereafter, funding permitting, we will host activities and programming honoring Native American Heritage Month, featuring Indigenous makers and their contributions to STEM and making.
- Acknowledging the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in STEM careers, we will work to increase access to KID Museum programs and activities for Indigenous youth, educators, and families.
- KID Museum will review and enhance this commitment annually, actively engaging in research and seeking input from our Indigenous staff and community members, including our Indigenous peoples’ community advisory group.
KID Museum invites you to learn more about the Piscataway, Nacotchtank (Anacostan), Manahoac, Lenni Lenape, Shawnee, and other Indigenous Nations within Maryland and about land acknowledgment statements via resources available at the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org), Maryland Commission of Indian Affairs (goci.maryland.gov) and elsewhere. In addition, we encourage you to consider donating to or making institutional resources available to tribal peoples and to reconsider in what ways you can improve your relationship with the lands you steward.