The Institute for American Indian Studies near Danbury, CT, is a celebration and educational outreach of the culture and heritage of the northeastern American Indians. It is a small private non-profit museum located in northwestern Connecticut. The institute includes a variety of exhibits highlighting Woodland Native American heritage from 10,000 years ago to today. There is also an interactive Children’s Discovery Room and a gift shop with a large selection of Native American made gifts and souvenirs.
Located on 15 acres of wooded trails, including a garden area, the grounds offer the perfect surroundings for a quiet afternoon. The institute offers a wide range of educational programs for children of all ages. It houses artifacts and art from 10,000 years ago to the present, including an indoor longhouse exhibit and outdoor simulated archaeological site. There is even a replica of a 17th century Algonkian Village.
The institute was incorporated in 1975 driven by local efforts to recover New England’s hidden indigenous history. Since 1975, the institute has surveyed or excavated over 500 sites, which led to the discovery of a 10,000-year-old camp site. The Research and Collections building was completed in 2002, which includes a climate controlled storage facility to safely store precious artifacts.
The Institute for American Indian Studies not only works to educate visitors on the local Native American heritage, but to continue research to discover the missing artifacts of this unique culture. Through summer camps, educational workshops, and a variety of artifact displays, the institute is focused on ensuring the Native American heritage of the northeastern American Indians is not forgotten.