AKRON, Ohio — Indigenous Peoples’ Day was on Monday, Oct. 11.

What You Need To Know

  • The Oak Native American Gallery features a large collection of artifacts from across the country 
  • Native American artists are featured 

  • The gallery is open to the public

It was a day to celebrate Native American history and culture. 

At the Oak Native American Gallery at The University of Akron, they strive to honor native traditions all year long. 

Francisca Ugalde is a curator for the gallery, which showcases a variety of Native American items like tools, blankets, baskets and ceremonial objects.

"Right now, this space is sort of divided into four regions," Ugalde explained. "We have the arctic, subarctic, the northwest coast, we walk into the Great Basin and the southwest.” 

The exhibit gives people a chance to get up close and personal with many ancient artifacts. 

Ugalde said it's important to help the public better understand the true history of Native Americans. 

"The history that is taught in schools is very limited when it comes to Native American history, indigenous history," she said. "It stops at certain timelines and it is very Eurocentric, so the perspective that is being told is really from the perspective of the winner.” 

Besides educating the general public, one of the main goals of this exhibit is to create a platform for Native American people. 

“Our goal as stewards of Native American materials is to create a space that is available for contemporary Native American people, artists, to speak for themselves and showcase their work," she said. "(To) help teach about native issues and stories to the public at large."

One way they are creating a platform for native people is by showcasing the works of current Native American artists. 

Right now, they have 'The Art of Claire Heldman: Lakota Wiá' on display.

This exhibit will be on display until Jan. 29, 2022.

“So we have already scheduled our next year's Native American artist but to showcase his work here but we are always looking for more artists to continue this tradition of exhibiting work," she said. 

The gallery is open to the public.

You can get tickets at the Cummings Center at The University of Akron.