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The National Museum of the American Indian is presenting the ESSENTIALLY INDIGENOUS?: Contemporary Native Arts Symposium on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6, 2011, at the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center; Diker Pavilion, One Bowling Green in New York.

The two-day symposium will wrestle with questions about how Native art is defined. Is there an essential quality? Is it a relationship to land or ties to traditional art forms? How do contemporary artists define their work as Indigenous? What role do communities play in establishing or enforcing standards?