American Indian Country Today - Toms River Library, Wed Aug 17

While we remember the contributions of the Corps of Discovery, we must also acknowledge that without the help of the Native American Tribes the Lewis and Clark expedition would have been a failure. Often little acknowledgment is given to the contributions of American Indians toward our history and culture.

Benjamin Franklin said that the idea of the federal government, in which certain powers are given to a central government and all other powers are reserved for the states, was borrowed from the system of government used by the Iroquoian League of Nations. Many are unaware of the role of American Indians in World War II, particularly in the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima and the extraordinary use of Native language in operational codes. Finally, we note the remarkable lack of any reference to American Indians in the more contemporary period and virtually no reference to Eastern American tribal groups.

On Wednesday, August 17 at 7:00 PM Autumn Wind Scott - Chair, New Jersey State Commission on American Indian Affairs will speak about the Indian Country today. She will emphasize the Contributions of Native Americans and the impact of negative stereotyping on the understanding of history. A display of artifacts accompanies the program. The program will serve as a closing event for the Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country traveling exhibit.

Scott has served her community officially, since 1999 as Commissioner to the New Jersey State Commission on American Indian Affairs. She was recently given the Title of Commission Chair. She was appointed in early 2007 by Governor Corzine to serve on his committee on Native American Community Affairs. She has been an activist for American Indian rights for over 20 years. Additionally, she is a lecturer and public speaker, addressing colleges, high schools, elementary schools and Museums throughout the tri-state area.

The exhibit Lewis & Clark and the Indian Country: Two Hundred Years of American History" was organized by the Newberry Library, Chicago, in partnership with the American Library Association. The traveling exhibition is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. Other major funding has come from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Sara Lee Foundation is the lead corporate sponsor; Ruth C. Ruggles and the National Park Service provided additional support. A grant from New Jersey Council for the Humanities provided funds for informational programs. The exhibit is on display at the Toms River Branch 101 Washington St, Toms River until August 19.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration for the program begins Please register in-person, by phone 732-349-6200 or online at