Roots of Wisdom

Native Knowledge. Shared Science.

The Roots of Wisdom exhibition explores four inspiring stories of environmental and cultural restoration.

This project promotes reciprocal collaboration between science museums and Native communities.


Native communities worldwide are working to preserve local ecosystems that are deeply tied to their cultures. By using traditional knowledge and science, the communities featured in Roots of Wisdom draw upon two valuable ways of understanding our world.

Saving Streams and Wildlife

Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation

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Restoring Fish Ponds

Native Hawaiians

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Re-establishing a Native Plant

Eastern Bands of Cherokee Indians

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Rediscovering Native Foods

Tulalip Tribes

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Explore the interactive and banner exhibitions to learn how diverse Native American and Hawaiian cultures are improving the world using their traditional knowledge in conjunction with cutting-edge science and technology.

About the Project

Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science. is a six-year cross-cultural collaboration involving Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Indigenous Education Institute (IEI), Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), and four Native community partners. The communities graciously shared their restoration stories and their voices throughout the exhibitions and the overall project.

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