Finding Common Ground 5 | Panel Discussion and Q & A
Finding Common Ground focuses on the complex history of African Americans and Native Americans and how their intertwined stories have become an essential part of American identity. In this segment, symposium moderator Michel Martin and presenters Tiya Miles and Paul Chaat Smith are joined by Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Lonnie G. Bunch III, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in an engaging discussion of the symposium's subject, and to answer questions submitted by the audience. Lonnie G. Bunch III, historian, author, curator, and educator, is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In this position, he promotes the museum’s mission to help audiences see African American history as American history, and provides strategic leadership in areas of fundraising, collections, and academic and cultural partnerships. Previously he served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society, the associate director for curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, education specialist and historian at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and a curator of history for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. A prolific and widely published author, Bunch has also served on numerous advisory boards. His many awards and honors include election as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017. Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, has guided the museum through the opening of several critically acclaimed exhibitions and major initiatives since he began as director in 2007. Gover served as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1997 to 2000 under President Bill Clinton where he won praise for his efforts to rebuild long-neglected Indian schools and expand tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs police forces throughout the country. His tenure as Assistant Secretary is perhaps best known for his apology to Native American people for the historical conduct of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. After leaving office in 2000, Gover practiced law at Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington. In 2003, he joined the faculty at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and served on the faculty of the university’s Indian Legal Program, one of the largest such programs in the country. Finding Common Ground is a collaboration between the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was webcast and recorded in the Rasumson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian on February 15, 2018.