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Episode 46: A collection like no other, a conversation with Charlotte Buchanan-Yale from the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville

Spread the Ozark love

Unknown Speaker 0:11

It's time for another episode of I am Northwest Arkansas. The podcast covering the intersection of business, culture, entrepreneurship and life in general here in the Ozarks. Whether you are considering a move to this area, or trying to learn more about the place you call home, we've got something special for you. Here's our host, Randy Wilburn.

Randy Wilburn 0:42

Hey Folks and welcome to another episode of I am Northwest Arkansas. I'm your host Randy Wilburn. And I'm excited today because I am visiting the Museum of Native American History. I am sitting across from Charlotte Buchanan-Yale who is the director of the museum and she is a busy lady. She has the sharpest sneakers on in the world that I absolutely love when I saw them and they're emblematic of the kind of work that she's doing because she's here, there and everywhere. So in a flash, she took some time out of her busy schedule to sit down with me. And I got to tell you, folks, the only reason why we're sitting down here now is because a couple of weeks ago, my youngest son who goes to the Arts Academy, big shout out to the Arkansas Arts Academy in Rogers, they came here to the museum of Native American history for a tour, and I was like, Oh, I really want to go because I remember driving by it in Bentonville. And, you know, I saw it from the outside and I was like, Okay, well, you know, I guess in my mind when I think of museums around here, or at least we think of museums, we think of Crystal Bridges because it's so opulent, and just so above I mean, it's it's above reproach, and we've had Crystal Bridges on the podcast, but I got to tell you, folks, I walked into this museum, and I walked out a changed person. As a history major in college, I can appreciate research and I can appreciate knowing your history. The importance of knowing every aspect of your history. But I gotta say, when you go into the Native American history museum here in Bentonville, you will walk out with a newfound respect and a newfound understanding for this area, and for what it represents historically, as well as where it's going, right? Because you know what they say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. And so without further ado, Charlotte, Buchanan, Yale, how are you doing today?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 2:28

I am so excited to do this with you. I mean, everything you just said. I mean, I could probably talk to you until the bison coming. So let's just see where this goes today.

Randy Wilburn 2:39

Absolutely. I we were going to have a ton of Native American references in this podcast. So folks don't take it the wrong way. We're embracing the culture that is this area in Northwest Arkansas. And if you live here, you need to understand what here is. And I think it's really important as I used to say, back in the day, you know, the gateway to the West was St. Louis and we're like five hours west of there. So this was like the Wild Wild West. This was a much different area, you know, over 150 hundred and 160 years ago and even beyond that, but why don't you just tell us a little bit about your origin story and how you actually got here to the museum?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 3:15

Uh, well, you know, we're talking I grew up in, you know, where we live is pretty amazing. You're talking about St. Louis. I mean, when I moved here, and when you moved here, people think what, you know, Arkansas with their mouth become a Oscilloscopes. But we're in the catbird seat of history. We're close to Kansas City. We're close to St. Louis. We're close to Dallas. We're close to 39 nations in Oklahoma and, and it's just really an exciting area because we are kind of the gateway city in the middle of everything. Yeah, absolutely. People say How did you get here? I mean, I moved to Arkansas. My mother was born in Little Rock at the turn of last century. So the blood of the mother must course through me, but they somehow migrated to Texas. So I grew up as a Dallas Texan. "Stars at night are big and bright..." but I digress. Anyway, I moved to the Northwest for 25 years. And, how did I get here I say spirit brought me here, you can watch your life, you know, in spirals how it kind of brings you to the day or coyote keeps running that same playbook by you to see if you got the message or not. Yeah, and one thing we have at the museum and I think you probably it stands out is the winter count. It's called lone dogs winter count. It's the most extraordinary teaching tool because it is on a bison hide. And what is the winter count? a winter count is when things have kind of slowed down and you hear your elders tell those oral histories over and over again, you know, to lock in who you are and where you've been and where you may be going. Right? And it always starts in the middle in a spiral. And so that's I think how true that is how I became the director of the Museum of Native American history. And I'm not even going to go down that road with you today, right? But it is my true honor to take everything I learned in the first half of my life and give everything I've got to this museum because it is just my honor to join hands with David Bogle who created it. I mean, this man's vision is so extraordinary and so surprising to people that come through those great doors. Because you think well, I'll be out of here in 25 minutes, right? This little Regional Museum.

Randy Wilburn 5:26

I didn't want to leave when I came. No, I really didn't know and the only reason I left was because they were on a timeline. It was the last day before the Thanksgiving break.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 5:32

You can't see it on a field trip. It's like an artists opening. You can't see the art. I mean, everybody's drinking cheap wine and bad cheese. And so you need to come back and that's what we try to do is plant that seed that you come back over and over and over again. And what I love doing is it David's vision is that he takes you on a tour through five periods of Native American history from the Paleo period to the European influence. And in that time, that 14,000 to 16,000 time frame, we are dedicated to first year culture, the first people from all the America, South America, Central America, Mexico, up to Alaska over to the Antilles. And so and then we connect, we tell the story of the present through cultural leaders, Native American cultural leaders that come through those doors. It could be Wes Studi before he gets an Academy Award, which was pretty fabulous. Or its artists, its author events, it is artists teaching creative visions, where you learn the tradition history behind wheat and then we go farther, and also the earth Guardian movement, and we're now official Earth Guardian Museum, and then that parlays into the future we're or you brought your you know, and you're on the field trip, right, where we want to educate the next generation about our collective history.

Randy Wilburn 6:49

Yeah, no, I love that. I mean, gosh, there's so many different directions. I think that the day that we were there at the museum, there was also a small group of Kids that I think were from an Indian. They were from Stilwell. Yeah, right. Exactly Stilwell, Oklahoma.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 7:05

Yes. And that was really great because they're older kids. And, you know, I trained to be a Montessori teacher. So I just use that training on big people. But you know, your older kids with the younger kids that were there, and I thought, you know, we just make it work. I mean, our time schedule got really "crackers"

Randy Wilburn 7:21

Yeah,but it was fine. It was totally fine.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 7:23

You know, to have literally 120 kids in this little museum is ridiculously wonderful because they were so well behaved.

Randy Wilburn 7:31

Yeah, they were they were they really I was, I was impressed. Actually, a grandmother came on this trip on that particular field trip, and we were talking and her daughter and my son are in the same class, and we were remarking about how the I think there were four classes from Arts Academy that came in about almost 100 kids. Yeah, they were very good.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 7:49

That's because Aaron Jones rules with a steel fist, right? It's like

Randy Wilburn 7:55

Yeah, no, no, they were definitely really good and we you know, you mentioned a couple of things that that stood out to me, which was that that circular, what do you call it again? the winter

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 8:05

It's a Winter Count there is only about 100 known and the museum has two and we sometimes have three.

Randy Wilburn 8:11

So I watched one of their teachers and I can't remember his name. He gave the lesson. Okay, that was him. So big shout out to him. Thank you so much for that lesson. I just stood there, as he started going through and identifying each year and the significance of each year. And when you see this calendar, just imagine in your mind, a spiral, a line that just continues to spiral out from the center for 70 years. And and each year has a representation of an image. And there's a story behind that. And you know, like you talked about, you know, the storytellers and the oral history. It's so important. I mean, a lot of us listen, those that are listening to this podcast, you know, you've probably had stories told to you by your grandparents or by your parents or somebody close to you that has relayed a story and over the years, it's taken on life and it's taken on new meaning. And I think it's storytelling is important.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 9:05

Storytelling is the lifeblood of all of us. I mean, it's so important and what's great about the winter count is that when you're sitting around the campfire. It's called a winter count because it begins with the first snow especially in the Dakotas, which would have been October maybe to March. So you're hearing these stories, the death of a Chief, the excitement of stealing 800 horses, you know, from the Crow Nation, you know, the celebrations and all that, well, the tribal council would come together and decide what was the most exciting and important thing that happens. So lone dog or the keeper of that winter count would make one glyph if we all had a little winter count. A lot of time we do that with the kids will take a little craft paper and make a little winter count where they could start you know, and make their own glyph of the most important thing that happened in life, but especially for the kids that came through from Arkansas Arts Academy. If you're a writer You know, we have a key that tells you that what that want, whether it was the Leonid meteor shower where the stars fellow night where you thought maybe the world is ending you don't know the wonder that's attached to that you can extrapolate that into a play. You can learn more about the death of that who was that chief You can learn more about, you know some of these extraordinary events and we want people to fall through time and learn more. Yeah, history is exciting. History is imagination, it is you know, especially if you you know, you go through once you go through twice with you can find your favorite thing and sit before it for an hour. Let it speak to you imagine, you know, this woman that made that beaded that cradle board. That's her story. Yeah, it's pretty. It's pretty neat.

Randy Wilburn 10:43

It is. And now you have me thinking I'm like, man, maybe I should I should go home. We could do a winter count over the holidays with my kids were I mean, they're all young. They're 14, 13, and nine at the time of the recording of this podcast, but I think it's it's good for all of us, myself included, to reflect on the important things that happen in our lives and maybe even try to distill down to one, you know, particular instance.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 11:09

That's incredible family thing to hand down, you know, and I love that because one thing I try to plant a seed when kids come in, and history starts at home, yeah, don't be like me and a million other people that you think I didn't even ask my aunt Isabella, what her maiden name is right? You know, so start now interviewing your parents and your grandparents because you know, it saves a lot of wear and tear later.

Randy Wilburn 11:35

Yeah, and I'm gonna I'm going to share a hack with everybody here I actually just and I've slowly been sharing a little bit of my personal history on this podcast from time to time and those of you that listen on a regular basis always come to me and say well, I didn't know that about you or that was interesting to learn but I just recently lost a great aunt that was 105. And I lost another aunt that was 99. And they were in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is where a lot of my family's from, but I would always make At a point to go back and meet with them, and I would record my conversations. And I know that the holidays are coming up at the time that we're recording this. And I would certainly encourage those listening, that when you're around some of your elders and some of the older people in your family that have that oral history down and have those stories just embedded in their brain, record them, yes. And listen to this, because they are part of your identity. And it's part of the storytelling that you need to pass down to your significant other your kids or whoever comes after you.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 12:33

You know, I think that you know, between that I love this conversation with you because I'm telling you that it is so healing and it is is the greatest treasure in the world. And, you know, when my Uncle Harry passed, you know, he I encouraged him to tell a story and he recorded them on these little cassettes, and I think we made them on to DVDs or something like that. But to hear him being so funny. I mean is the greatest treasure? I mean, I don't think there's anything you can buy, that would be better than that.

Leon Wilburn 13:05

No, absolutely, absolutely. And especially in this in this day and age and we're so caught up in consumerism, this is a nice thing to embrace the present. That's the gift. Yeah. And it doesn't cost a dime. No, it really doesn't. It's free. It's free. So take that for what it's worth listeners, I think you'll enjoy it. I'd love to hear some stories of how the difference making of some storytelling and your family helped you after this holiday period. So please reach out here at I am Northwest Arkansas and let us know. So Miss Buchanan-Yale back to the museum. Obviously. You guys originally started out in a smaller location and then you you had such a collection? And was it? Most of it was Mr. Bogles collection. Is that correct? And then did other people give to him? How did this collection continue to grow?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 13:52

When you walk in the door? No, there is you're greeted by a 12,000 year old Woolly Mammoth

It's amazing. The woolly mammoth name is Tusker and it was named by we had a naming contest and the perfect nine year old boy came up with Tusker. But, there's an ode to Mr. Bogles, Eagle Scout leader that inspired him to be passionate about history and collecting Mr. Fryer, okay. And actually his widow was in just last week Juanita Fryer, and David outgrew his home, he outgrew a tiny little museum on the square, and they brought us to where we are today. And it was just a house right? We're just you know, it's just a little house that has been attacked many which ways you know, to be the museum it is today. And he brought in Marlon Blackwell, who worked with a Fay Jones and who work with Frank Lloyd Wright, and they created the great door. So that's why it looks like such a cathedral when you come in. But then David, you know, the story he was going to tell is pretty extraordinary. I mean, really, when you think about all the Americas and all the different cultures and just recognized tribes right now in just the United States alone federal is 575. But there's many more, you know from there. So with that he bought five very prestigious collections. And then from there people love what he does they trust what he does. David's heritage is Cherokee, even though we represent no one nation or tribe, right? We've had a generous donation from the Blairs of pre Columbian art. We have Dr. Howard and Catherine Cockerel of Little Rock has extraordinary tapestry collection that changes they just changed it out. Okay, last week, okay. So we never know when someone might lend their collection, but we don't bring something and just because it's available, it's got to give you a greater window, in how the first people lived.

Randy Wilburn 13:58

Which is amazing.

So you know, talk a little bit about and again, this is a topic that I bring up quite a bit that the thing that I am blown away about with regard to Northwest Arkansas is the giving spirit that exists here, the level of philanthropy, the level of "Hey, I want to help you out!" and as I tell people, I mean, I've really never had anyone say no to me about being on the podcast? After I've done a recording and interviewed somebody, they're always like, how can I help what you know? Do you know what you should talk to this person or you need to interview that person?

Unknown Speaker 16:10

I love that here it is, you know, I have been an event producer, a talent Wrangler, a community developer my whole life. Yeah. And to move here and to you know, collaborate with so many people I couldn't even count them on my hands and toes of how many people that we say "yes," to I mean, we have been so invisible in the beginning and now you know, we've kind of emerged as you know, we're number two as the best museum. Just got City Escapes were number two were number two, but it's incredible. You know, I love working with houses, songs, you know, Troy, do you want to do something with us or he's bringing someone in their work or runway you know, that just kind of making that they are all young Austin with the murals and everything right? I mean, they came up and supported us to have that incredible mural that was painted on the side of the building. You don't even know how many times we've driven our kids to school and we've never been in there and "psych," Well, you will now. Oh my goodness, so beautiful out there. But I love it. I mean, it's a dream come true to be able to pick up the horn and call someone and, and, you know, they take your call and we figure out how we work together. Yeah,

Randy Wilburn 17:21

Well, so tell me because we are in a area that we're in, like you said, there are 39 nations represented in this grander area. What has it meant for you guys to be stewards of this collection and interact with these different representations of these nations that are still exist, and can trace their lineage back to a lot of the things that are part of your collection? And what is that like? I mean..

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 17:48

It's an honor, number one, but you have to earn it and we've grown it organically, you know, I mean, just adding the element of the present where we connect with just bringing in extra we had an opening ceremony during the Native American cultural celebration in October. And we honor the First Nations of Arkansas, which is the Quapaw, the Caddo, and the Osage and to have the principal chiefs of the Osage nation of former Jim Gray and former principal Chief Jim Bird of the Cherokee Nation, even though Cherokee were not original, they did pass through here on the way to Tahlequah and didn't have a settlement and have JR Matthews as a former chairman of the Quapaw Nation, it is such an honor, and they become our family. And I can rely on them to, you know, help us navigate and we try to build on small successes. So what we've done is that, you know, when people come in, there's a real warmth, and you become part of our family, and that parlays into, you know, Bunky Echo Hawk, you know, telling other people it's a great place to come at parlays and to Stephen Paul Judge, and Wes Studi saying it was one of the best cultural celebrations he ever was part of, because it wasn't just a powwow. It wasn't just selling art. You know, our, you know, it was he said the caliber of the presenters was extraordinary. And they were I mean, you know, I have to, I see so many doors open to us and to be able to navigate and go through them and the equation of time, energy money is something but a couple years ago, I went home and my husband had on the world channel, and there's this young man, Scott Martinez, I thought, who is this kid? He's 17 years old. He's addressed United Nations twice. He wrote a book at 17 his family created Earth guardians have gone around the world and I see him standing next to Greta Thunberg. He is recording with Quincy Jones, who's he's actually pretty good hip hop artists. Yeah.

Randy Wilburn 19:42

So you know, you're doing all kinds of name dropping here, which is great. I love that.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 19:46

Well, I don't mean to I mean, but what happened just by taking going through that door and calling his mother Yeah, is turned us into or he has he had a good experience and now maseeh our youngest Is Cherokee is an earth guardian. And so that's what we're talking about the new medicine garden we've created, we were in solidarity with the day of action that went around the world, right? So we were doing it here in Bentonville, too. And so that is parlayed into, you know, opening that door because again right now with our youth, it is so important for me to ask the question, why does this story we tell matter to them, you know, you've got so many devices you're, you're so frickin privileged around here. And I you know, feel like just going to every school and you must come and experience people like Scott Martinez. Now. So speaking of which, do you go visit school? Yeah, well, we don't we're too small to open that door. Right? We prefer them to come to us. But if there is like a big event, we try to collaborate with them. So during the neighbored cultural celebration, we brought in Joseph Bruce Shock, okay. He is the most extraordinary storyteller. So he's New York Times bestselling artist. So he's telling stories over 250 students, they have sketchbooks they're drawing and so from and also, it ties into Wes Studi get Academy Award. They're sketching and they'll parlay those sketches into graphic novels or storyboarding for a short film. Wow. Okay, so we can do that. But I also had, you know, we have to be really crafty, who we sent out. So we sent out Sam Chinta, who is just extraordinary person with Fulcrum Press, which is one of the premier publishing companies for American Indian writers. So Sam, actually, you know, was my ambassador, not only was he selling books, and we, you know, bringing in other authors, he went and so he's writing a lesson plan that comes off of that experience with Joseph Boucher and also Arkansas Arts Academy came to us and experience Joseph also. Yeah, so it's really hard right now because we're a small staff to you know, say Oh, we'll show up your place but we we try to find a way to help

Randy Wilburn 21:58

So speaking of which, given the size of your staff and everything. Do you take volunteers?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 22:02

We do? And interns.

Randy Wilburn 22:06

Okay, so there's plenty of there's plenty of work to do. And there's plenty of opportunities to do that work?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 22:10

There is and usually it's a limited amount, especially for events. We need volunteers. I mean, during the Native American cultural celebration, and then, three weeks later, we did Bentonville Dia De Los Muertos. We need volunteers for that. Because it's, I mean, we couldn't believe the success of Bentonville Dia De Los Muertos. I mean for us having 1300 people come through those doors. Yeah. was like, oh, my goodness.

Randy Wilburn 22:34

All in one day?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 22:35

Yes, sir.

Randy Wilburn 22:36

Wow, that is that's a lot. Is there a way for people to through the website to connect with that information? Is that usually readily apparent?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 22:44

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I didn't go and I was like the phone call. Yeah, yeah, I'm an auditory.

Randy Wilburn 22:52

I am too. I am too and that's, that's why I reached out to you. And that's also why I sent the email as well.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 22:58

Someone could open your email and it might go through the cracks, so it's always be just best to back it up with a phone call with me.

Randy Wilburn 23:03

Yeah. And the website is MONAH.US. That's mo in a, which stands for Museum of Native American history. So what's next for you guys? I mean, where do you hoping? What are some of your bigger goals and plans for this museum and for the impact that you'd like to see it have on this community?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 23:27

Well, again, what happened this year? I mean, and, again, we are a small museum that is private collection, but thanks to extraordinary Walton Family foundation, because we have no advertising budget. We have built this really by being newsworthy word of mouth, you know, I mean, just incredible, you know, but they gave us a programming ground. We don't look for where we're, we're not a museum that looks at the state. You know, I mean, David wants to, you know, navigate this journey. And so but programming? Yes, we definitely, you know, it helps us bring extraordinary people that we couldn't afford to do it. I mean, I couldn't bring in Wes studi Yeah, by myself, so but their generosity and in support of us. We they have funded us for 12 months. And a big chunk of that went to the Native American cultural celebration. But once a month, we do creative visions, and that was created by Macy Henley, who is again, our youngest. And she came up with this idea to bring different indigenous artists once a month, that treated that teaches a traditional art form, and up to 50 people can learn beside them, but it's not that you're going to leave with a double walled basket, right? You're learning the tradition and history behind it. That's what's really important for us, you know, we have I want to incorporate and also we do native conversations once a month and that could be an author event, you know where we brought last year we brought in the Crazy Horse family and that you couldn't even get into place It was so extraordinary. In fact, on the winter count one of Floyd Clown Sr's relations for the Crazy Horse family is one of those glyphs. Really? Yes, it says Lone Horn had his leg killed well Lone Horn had his leg broken in a bison hunt, but his heart was broken because he'd lost his wife and child. So this is the whole thing that you expand from those little glyphs. And you could have heard a pin drop. I mean, you understood what it was like to be sitting there here earlier in an elder tell the stories that winter, it was extraordinary.

Randy Wilburn 25:27

Did you Guys, videotape that?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 25:29

We need a videographer. It's a blur. Yeah, please. I would like to write that in it. Hopefully, they'll, you know, see us worthy of the next future grant and I would like to have a videographer. But what we want to add this coming year we do story time for children once a month. It's the second Saturday. But what I would like to do is once a month we bring in a different storyteller from a different nation. Okay, so you're not just hearing the story of the little fuzzy chipmunk, you're also knowing a little bit more about the history, you know, The Laguna Nation, you're learning a little bit more about the tradition and the oral history behind that. Yeah, but they would do storytelling with children, but then there would be another presentation later in the day for all ages. So that's my next thing. So it would be 12 months of storytellers, and we have some of the best in the whole world that are coming through there already our friends or family like Gail Ross, who's a direct descendant of Chief John Ross. Okay. I mean, she has done storytelling at the White House. He's done storytelling on you know, all over the place. So that's a new feature I think people will really like

Randy Wilburn 26:31

And, I gotta say, I was really impressed with the gift shop too. The gift shop. I mean, thanks for noticing. The Gift have some high quality items.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 26:40

We really do yeah, we it's, I'm a major donor. I just bought this bracelet.

You know, I had a store for 20 years. Okay. In Seattle called Glama Rama. Okay, and yeah, after 20 years is enough. And, and I just was ready to start the new chapter of my life. And, then for David, I, you know, he shouldered this for the first eight years. And, so what we've been doing is increasing the people that come through even though admissions free, you know, if you want to leave a donation for your visit, it's always appreciated, but the gift shop pays our salaries and also pays for, you know, other things going on in the museum. And it's it's an honor to do this with such purpose. Yeah, you know, it's one thing I always like, you know, I've always been a bit producer, I thought selling things is not enough on this planet. And so to be able to do something that supports such a grand thing, and also to bring different indigenous artists in. That your game is supporting the artists or hospital in Guatemala, or it's and there's also some silly things have nothing to do with Native American history. But it's fun. Yeah, it's fun.

Randy Wilburn 27:46

Yeah, listen, I as soon as I walked in, I had pulled out my wallet because at first I was like, oh, man, I didn't ask my son's teacher how much it was costing to get in and I was like, then they were like, Oh, no, it's free. I was like, free and I had no idea. So there is no excuse for people not to come and visit and know partake in all that you have to offer.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 28:05

And what's really cool now is people are just pushing past us and going shopping.

Randy Wilburn 28:09


Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 28:13

I know I am. Yeah, no, I mean, I walked in thinking I'm going to be out of this museum someone brought me in and saying they really need someone to help promote it and all that and I thought, okay, I'll be here about 25 minutes. And so it's, I think it's going on Eight years later.

Randy Wilburn 28:25

Yeah, you never left. You never left. Well, man, I love I love hearing this story. And there's just so many anecdotes that I think play a part into the success that you guys are experiencing here with the museum and, and also what's to come. I mean, there's a lot of opportunity for you to continue to grow. And I certainly think with the giving spirit of this area, you there will be no shortage of people willing to lend a hand and help out

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 28:53

And that's what's so great about the events too is that it gives us return on the visitor. You know, a lot of times If you went through while we saw it, but by bringing in, you know, monthly we're starting to see people like 12 times a year or you know, or, you know, your aunt Maude came into town and you want to, you know, bring a (sic). You know, it's people feel like family, they come in that door. Right,

Randy Wilburn 29:16

No, I love that I certainly am going to when my mother comes to town because she loves museums. I've taken her to Crystal Bridges. That was the funny thing. You know, she's coming from, you know, she lived right outside of New York City for many years. And, you know, she's been all over the world and been to the Louvre and she saw Crystal Bridges and it just blew her mind.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 29:34

It's just such a great setting. Yeah, it's just beautiful.

Randy Wilburn 29:39

So yeah, so I love that and I'm going to certainly bring her here when she comes to visit in a few months. And I think I'm gonna bring the family back for another another trip because I'd like to just sit down with that winter count. And

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 29:50

And on the other side is the Washawshaw winter count that's on muslin cloth. Okay, and no one lives that long, but there's always the keeper always has apprentices. And that one's been in Travel Art magazine and it's extraordinary also.

Randy Wilburn 30:05

Wow. Okay, well, I'm definitely gonna take advantage of that. Yeah, those of you that are listening to this podcast, you have to see this winter count. I don't know if I, I have a picture of it. Do I need permission to show it? No.

Okay, so I'm gonna, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put a picture of this winter account so you understand what I'm talking about on the show notes with this particular episode of the podcast and as long as as well as a couple of other choice photos that I've taken that I think you would really like and, and certainly will have a link to the website. So So those of you that have not been here before, it's really easy to get to your about five minutes from the square in Bentonville, right down the street from one of my favorite restaurants The Preacher's Son. And so there's a lot that's right in this area. It's actually really easy to get to

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 30:50

I always tell people when they're on highway 49 and you're coming this way, you know, you it's Central. It's really central, all the way the museum and so once you go past the downtown and Walton Boulevard were the first Tee Pee on the left.

Randy Wilburn 31:04

There you go! I love that. And there's legitimately

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 31:10

All kids that come here we out by the Tee Pee we put arrowheads out there. So they get to go. They all get a free Arrowhead when they visit us. Yeah, but we're getting ready to get in 2020 A sandpit and so you'll be able to excavate a cast of a direwolf skeleton.

Randy Wilburn 31:25

Oh, man, that's gonna be interesting.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 31:28

Is this place cool or what?

Randy Wilburn 31:29

It's beyond cool. Yeah, my son went out there with a couple of his friends. And they were just mean, they were throwing rocks around and not not to hurt anybody, but just moving them around trying to find the arrowheads, which I thought were really cool. And he found two really nice Arrowhead.

Yeah, exactly. But I think that's really good

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 31:44

They are all hand napped. Just modern.

That again, plants a seed, you know, it plants a seed, and that's an art form in itself. I mean, we have one of the largest prehistoric tool collections period. Yeah. And you know, There's the holy grail of nappers the Sweetwater by face when they come in and it's so thin with all the technology today, you cannot make something that thin and the pottery is extraordinary. I mean, like the Quawpaw pottery and the Caddo pottery, I mean, it's just, there's clothing. I mean, it's just a little bit of everything, and especially when those kids come in, like the Arkansas Arts Academy, or you know, where you came in with them, like I try to instill that each one of you has a very special gift, you know, to survive and thrive. And you know, some of you are going to resonate towards the bows and arrow, you're the hunters for the Arkansas Arts Academy tribe, some of you, you know, you may be the medicine woman, look at the medicine trunk, we have, you know, some of you are the artisans that are creating this pottery and just to, you know, fall through time, you know, again, and it's just again, my honor to talk to you today.

Randy Wilburn 32:49

Yeah, no, I appreciate that. So we've got the output all the contact information you guys are based at 202 Southwest, O street in Bentonville. 72712 just for those that are listening on the fly, as we close, I'd love for you to just share your thoughts, especially for somebody listening because I always try to consider who my audience is. And of course we have a lot of people here that that I'm exposing new information to. But then also there might be somebody listening that's thinking about coming to Northwest Arkansas. Give me your short Cliff note version of why they should seriously consider coming here. It might be for Walmart it might be for JB Hunt or Tyson might be for one of the vendors that serve Walmart or it might be for some other reason. But what would your "Why," be why should they come to the museum or Northwest Arkansas? Yeah, well, my thing is it become Northwest Arkansas. Eventually they're going to make it to the museum.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 33:43

We'll first of all, after you listen to this extraordinary podcast, why would you not right?

Randy Wilburn 33:50

thank you!

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 33:51

From USA Today this little museum that could we are the top three attractions in Arkansas. I know. That's amazing. Great. That is great. And also we're fun. Yeah, history is fun. Yeah, history is exciting stuff.

Randy Wilburn 34:05

Well when you're not moving and shaking inside and outside the museum, what do you like to do here in Northwest Arkansas?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 34:11

You know, I am. I live in hobbit land and my husband is extraordinary artists James Yale, and he had the good sense to build a home on the lake over in Rogers, and I am just a big ol homebody. I give everything I've got to the museum and then I kind of sashay on home. And you know, my friends and family are my gold. You know, I mean, I just you know, it's as it should be, you know, when I get home, I mean, I just want to have free range conversations and garden and, and I just think it's so beautiful here.

Randy Wilburn 34:45

Absolutely, absolutely. favorite restaurant?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 34:47

My favorite restaurant. Oh, my goodness. No, you're not actually I mean, over in Rogers. There is a restaurant called Havana. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I love it. I just love that place. So much. It's right by close to where I live.

Randy Wilburn 35:02

And we actually have a lot of gluten free items on the menu.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 35:03

They really do. I just say you should go to move on. I just think it's pretty fabulous. But the reason why you should come here is that I do not feel we run. I want to tell you one thing when we did our first native cultural celebration, and I met the fabulous Bobby Bridger, who's a direct descendant of Jim Bridger. He's the one that started the cultural celebration with me. And we did it we, again I'm talking about you got to pay attention when these doors of opportunity open to all of us and you got to know when to go through them. And so we did this during the time of Standing Rock. And he got the John Diehard Ward Center award, who wrote Black Elk speaks, and I read Black Elk Speaks when I was a very young woman, and then I read it again right before the event. And Black Elk was this 11 year old boy who became this powerful medicine man and warrior he had this vision that the hoops the nation would broken and they were was going to be your heart was on the ground. But his vision went farther and farther and farther we saw the tree of life growing again and the hoops of the nation of all the earth coming together. And when we did that event, that's when 200 nations that might not have been so friendly with each other through time. Where indigenous and non indigenous people stood up to protect this earth. Yeah. And I thought we're just so I run on that vision that I feel like it's important that we create a museum of understanding, because how is this earth in this world is going to be healthy unless we, you know, we explore these stories and unearth these facts and we bow and honor what has happened in the past. And we meet each other with the eyes of a child to let each other story unfold.

Randy Wilburn 36:50

Yeah. And that's key point. You bring up the eyes. I mean, the eyes are the window to the soul, right?

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 36:56

Get your face out of your phone!

Randy Wilburn 36:59

So you know look at People when you talk to them and you'd be surprised what you might learn so, well, Charlotte Buchanan Yale I count this a pleasure to just sit down with you for a few minutes you know, it's true what they say that you are the company you keep. Yeah, and I'm certainly appreciative of you spending a little bit of time with me and enlightening me to all that you're doing and the things that you're passionate about and why Northwest Arkansas so special. So thank you so much for coming on the show.

Charlotte Buchanan-Yale 37:27

Well, welcome to our family.

Randy Wilburn 37:28

Thank you! I appreciate that. Well, there you have it, folks. Another episode of I am Northwest Arkansas, the Museum of Native American history. You cannot miss this place. You have to come and check it out. You have to come check out the Tee Pee bring your kids bring your grandkids bring your grandkids friends and your kids friends, bring your friends just come down here and see Charlotte Buchanan-Yale and the rest of her amazing team here at the museum. You will not be disappointed and and do me a favor. When you do come down and visit. Tell them That you heard about it first here on the podcast. I am Northwest Arkansas. I would really appreciate that more than anything else. And as you know, our podcast is available wherever great podcast can be found. Apple podcast, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Pandora, I Heart Radio, you name it. I am Northwest Arkansas is there. So we appreciate you just checking us out sharing this with a friend if you like this podcast, and remember, no two episodes are the same. So we really want to encourage you to be a part of the I am Northwest Arkansas family and partake in all the great things that are happening. And if you're thinking about moving here, just do it. And if you're seriously not sure reach out to me via email, all my information is on the website. And I'll get on the phone with you and tell you why you should come in Northwest Arkansas. I don't care who you are, I got an answer for you. So that's all I have for today. We really appreciate you listening to this episode. And as usual, our episodes come out every Monday at noon. So we will see you next week. Peace.

Unknown Speaker 39:04

We hope you enjoyed this episode of I am Northwest Arkansas. Check us out each and every week available anywhere that great podcast can be found. For show notes or more information on becoming a guest visit. I am Northwest We'll see you next week on I am Northwest Arkansas.

About the Show:

In this episode, we sit down with Charlotte Buchanan-Yale, Director of the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville. Charlotte takes us through the museum, how it got started with the vision of one man, entrepreneur David Bogle, and how it has slowly built up a following over the years.  

Don’t let this museum fool you. They take a deep dive into 14,000 years of Native American history throughout the Americas. There is so much to learn about the influence of Native Americans in Northwest Arkansas and the museum captures it so beautifully through a variety of artifacts including pottery, painted animal hides, clothing, and the huge skeletal remains of a Wooly Mammoth that actually used to graze in what is now present-day Arkansas among other parts of the U.S.  

There is so much to learn about this museum from this episode but we encourage you to listen and then visit so that you can truly take in what is an incredible experience. 

And, if you are not happy with your visit we will refund your entrance fee to the museum. Actually, the museum is 100% FREE to visit. That’s right, no cost, for such an amazing collection. The next time you are in Bentonville or driving up or down Interstate 49 please take a detour to visit the Museum of Native American History or MONAH as we like to call it.  You will not be disappointed. 

 All of this and more on this episode of I am Northwest Arkansas.   

Important Links:

Museum of Native American History, 202 SW O St., Bentonville, AR 72712


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