Orange Alert

Native American and Indigenous Studies Professor to Present at New York State History Museum

Posted on: Oct. 25, 2023

Associate Professor Scott Manning Stevens will be presenting, Paths Forward: Native America and Museums, on Sunday, October 29 at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY. In his presentation commemorating New York State History Month, he will examine the challenges museums encounter to overcome the legacy of misappropriation and misrepresentation to accurately depict Native American and Indigenous cultures, issues and history.

“The history of Native Americans is not represented accurately in museums because it relies on written accounts – the records of colonizers, missionaries and partisan historians of the past,” says Stevens. “Traditionally, Indigenous histories are shared orally so we must supplement with physical evidence, material items and archeological evidence and be our own interpreters.”

Haudenosaunee Flag

A citizen of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Stevens is the director of the recently founded Center for Global Indigenous Cultures and Environmental Justice at Syracuse University, as well as the program director for Native American and Indigenous Studies. His primary areas of expertise include diplomatic and cultural strategies of resistance among North American Indians in the face of European and American settler colonialism, as well as the political and aesthetic issues that surround museums and the indigenous cultures they put on display.

Stevens holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree from Harvard University and is a highly respected educator who has taught and lectured at many U.S. and international universities, including Harvard, Duke, Cambridge, Arizona State and SUNY Buffalo. He was awarded a Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University, and in 2021-2022 he was a Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow. He has written three books, including, Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians.


This presentation is part of a month-long commemoration of the history of New York State, offering a variety of free programming. The events, both online and in-person, will focus on themes related to the approaching 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and American Revolution and celebrate the rich and diverse history of the state. Stevens’ presentation will take place from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Huxley Theater at the New York State Museum, adjacent to the Empire State Plaza. The New York State Museum features art, science, and history dedicated to exploring the state’s significant natural and cultural diversity, past and present. It is the oldest and largest state museum in the U.S., established in 1836. Go to the museum website for event details.