They Don't Love You Like I Love You: Indigenous Perspectives on Sovereignty
This exhibition series is sponsored by the Arizona State Museum and funded by the Mellon Foundation and Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historical Preservation.
Visit our sister institutions to enjoy these four community-curated exhibits:
Our Song is Our Strength, curated by members of the Pascua Yaqui community
Richey Resource Center at Old Pascua
2209 N. 15th Avenue
Open December 1, 2023
Invisible NO MORE!, curated by members of the Hia-Ced Oʼodham community
Cause and Effect: That’s What You Get!, curated by members of the Tohono O'odham community
Himdag Ki: Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum in Topawa, Arizona
Open December 8, 2023
Su:dagi/Shu:thag: Rekindling Our Connections, curated by members of the Gila River and Salt River communities
Huhugam Heritage Center in Chandler, Arizona
Open December 15, 2023
These exhibits will be shown at the Arizona State Museum starting in the Fall of 2024.
Exhibit Synopses and Title Explanations
This exhibit series, They Don’t Love You Like I Love You: Indigenous Perspectives on Sovereignty, developed out of community curator group discussions with representation from all five Native Nations about community and the idea of sovereignty. Each curator agreed that there is no better authority on how to care for the people, homelands, culture and language than their own. The idea of sovereignty coming from within, and in the face of outside forces/decisions, was an underlaying theme in each exhibit. At the opening reception at Himdag Ki:, community curator April Ignacio addressed the crowd, “This exhibit is a love letter to you, our hajun (family/relatives).” This sentiment was shared at each of the exhibit openings.
- Gila River and Salt River are known as Akimel O’odham, or River people. Their collaborative exhibit, Su:dagi/Shu:thag: Rekindling Our Connections, focuses on the loss of their water resources due to encroachment of settlements and city use. Through this loss, all other areas of their cultural community were affected. Over the last 100 years they have been at the forefront of the water rights litigation, and cultural reparations while turning to each other to lead the way. The exhibit was conceived as a message to their youth that there is strength in traditional knowledge, which should be harnessed to create a healthy future.
Hosted by Huhugam Heritage Center | 21359 S Maricopa Rd | Chandler, AZ 85226 | Open Monday-Friday
Please call for additional information and updated hours (520) 796-3500
- Pascua Yaqui’s exhibit, Our Song Is Our Strength, highlights the resilience and determination of the Yaqui people from their homelands near Rio Yaqui in Mexico through government enslavement and persecution, and their exodus north into the United States. As a matter of safety, their culture was kept secret until the 1970s when after gaining federal recognition they were allowed to freely practice, celebrate and revitalize their traditions north of the border. This exhibit uses original artworks from Pascua Yaqui artists to highlight issues such as United States/Mexico border wall, land and water protectors, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), and community pride.
Hosted by Old Pascua Museum & Yaqui Culture Center and the Yoemem Tekia Cultural Center and Museum
Displayed at Richey Resource Center (formerly elementary school) | 2209 N 15th Ave | Tucson, Arizona 85705
Please call for additional information and updated hours (520) 526-2440
- Hia-Ced Hemajkam exhibit, Invisible NO MORE, is in response to the fight for federal recognition. In early 1900s the Hia-Ced O’odham were overlooked as a dying community and denied access to federal recognition, land trust, and other protections and support. Their community has been fighting for federal recognition for over four decades. This exhibit details the process they are taking to achieve federal recognition, and how this decision will support their cultural reparations and future as a distinct tribe.
- Using traditional stories, the Tohono O’odham exhibit Cause and Effect: That’s What You Get! juxtaposes messages of community and self-reliance into matters that have shaped their past, and continue to influence their present: education and US federal policies. By emphasizing “there were things done to us, and things we have done to ourselves,” the exhibit asks visitors to examine their shared history, dare to imagine a stronger future, and be aware of their own role in their sovereign O’odham identity.
Both exhibits are hosted by Himdag Ki: Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum
Fresnal Canyon Road and Indian Route 19 | Sells, Arizona 85634 | Open Tuesday-Saturday, excluding tribal holidays
Please call for additional information and updated hours (520) 383-0200