Museum of Indigenous Americans Opens April 27

Published Friday, April 10, 2015
Museum Graphic
Museum Graphic

A new museum will be unveiled at Southwest Minnesota State University on Monday, April 27.

Formerly the Anthropology Museum, the new museum will be called the Museum of Indigenous Americans.

An opening reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 in Social Science 101.

“(Theatre Professor Emeritus) Bill Hezlep donated a large collection of his Native American artifacts to the university,” explained Dr. Michael Hofstetter, professor of history at SMSU. “We already had some artifacts, so we decided to convert the space and dedicate it to Native American materials.”

Hofstetter said a lot of thought and effort has gone into the organization and display of the museum pieces.

“Bill donated a lot of pieces, from a collection he has gathered over the years,” said Michele Knife Sterner, associate director of the Office of Access, Opportunity Success at SMSU. She has assisted in the project and said it will be an impressive space once finished.

“(Hezlep) acquired the pieces from a number of locations, and there is a lot of local Dakota material, plus some from the northwest and southwest, also,” said Sterner.

“His collection includes pottery, artwork, baskets, projectile points. There’s a beaded bone breast plate. The anthropology museum had some pieces, and we will keep those that relate to Native Americans in the Americas,” she said. “We hope to have art pieces added in the future.”

The public is invited to the museum opening on the 27th.