‘Native American Experience’ exhibit now open | MyWindsorNow.com

‘Native American Experience’ exhibit now open

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Anya Engeltjes, 2, left, watches as10-year-old Aster McNally and 9-year-old Van Engeltjes grind corn at the new interactive exhibit at the Windsor Art and Heritage Center.

Lacey Engeltjes and her family were surprised by how much time they spent at the Windsor Art and Heritage Center while visiting family in Windsor.

Thursday afternoon, she and her children, 2-year-old Anya and 9-year-old Van, checked out the Native American exhibit currently on display at the center.

They spent about an hour at the exhibit because its interactive nature gave the children activities to focus on.

Caitlin Huesser, the museum curator for the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, said the traveling interactive exhibit has been getting a really good response.

"It enables parents and children to come in and learn about not just Native American tribes of the past but Native American culture today," she said.

Van and his cousin, 10-year-old Aster McNally, were grinding corn and trying on the costumes that are part of the exhibit. Huesser said she hopes the interacting helps both parents and children learn more about Native American tribes of the past and present.

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"So often kids learn about Native Americans and think they are of the past but there are still tribes today," she said.

The small exhibit hanging in the main gallery also connects the past and present through photos.

Although Native American tribes were nomadic, Huesser said the Ute tribe spent the most time in the Windsor area, so much of the interpretation in the gallery is specific to the tribe.

Huesser said she hopes it inspires chilren's imaginations.

"I think for a kid just to be able to learn about things in the museum in the exhibit and then go outside and envision what it would have been like in the past is valuable," she said.

The exhibit also includes traditional games that children can play with their parents.

"A lot of it is just experiencing something different," Huesser said.

The "Native American Experience: A Peek into the Past" exhibit is the museum's first truly interactive exhibit, and Huesser said she hopes to gauge community reaction and possibly continue bringing in interactive exhibits if the community wants.

Where to go

The Windsor Art and Heritage Center is open from noon-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays at 116 5th St., according to the center’s website. The “Native American Experience: A Peek into the Past” exhibit is hope Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. and Fridays-Sundays from noon-4 p.m.

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