The largest gathering of American Indians in U.S. history came together in Washington, D.C., in September for the opening of the Smithsonians National Museum of the American Indian. More than 80,000 people gathered on the National Mall for the opening day ceremonies, which included about 25,000 in the Native Nations Procession. "We are excited about the opening of this museum because it reminds America of the continuing contributions of Native Americans to the well-being of the country," Choctaw Methodist pastor David Wilson told the United Methodist Connection newspaper. More than 92,300 people visited the museum the first week.
NMAI director Richard West, a Southern Cheyenne United Methodist, told the Connection, "Our spirituality is...a quality that pervades all of our life."