A woven Navajo textile

Oak Native American Ethnographic Collection

About the Collection

The Oak Native American Ethnographic Collection is on permanent loan from the private collection of Jim and Vanita Oelschlager. The collection contains customary and contemporary Native American art and objects, and ancestral belongings.

Institute staff are working with Indigenous cultural experts to assess our collections and ensure we are in compliance with the newest NAGPRA guidelines. Enacted in 1990, NAGPRA (the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) is Federal Law that protects Indigenous human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony. Revised regulations went into effect in January 2024.

The Oak Native American Gallery is closed temporarily while we consult with cultural experts and work to create a new exhibition that amplifies voices and perspectives around contemporary and customary Indigenous art, objects, and belongings.

North American First People's Day

In 2018, the Akron City Council declared the first Monday in October as North American First People’s Day, a day to honor Indigenous history, life and culture. In recognition of this day, the Portage Path Collaborative organizes community events around Summit County. The Institute for Human Science and Culture hosts additional events, including an annual lecture and art exhibition highlighting the work of a contemporary Indigenous educators, scholars, and artists.

Our current North American First People's Day Featured Contemporary Artist is Peter B. Jones. Learn more about his ongoing exhibit, O-bit-u-ary.

Learn more about our North American First People's Day event series.

Explore Our Other Collections