Lectures, Panel Discussions & Performances

A variety of lectures, panel discussions, and performances focus on aspects of Native American history and culture of tribes in the Coachella Valley and other parts of the western United States. Admission to these public programs is free. No registration is required.


Wednesday, October 21 2015 • 6:30 PM

Book Talks

In partnership with Palm Springs Public Library

Presenter: Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche)

Comanche author, essayist, and Curator at the National Museum of the American Indian, Paul Chaat Smith will read from some of his works, most notably, “Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong.”* He is both entertaining and profound.

Free Admission

Palm Springs Public Library
300 South Sunrise Way, Palm Springs

*Available for purchase at the Museum Store and at the event.


Thursday, February 4, 2016 • 6:30 PM

Bird Singing: Perspectives on Indian Social Song & Dance

Panel Moderator: Michael Mirelez (Desert Cahuilla)

A panel of distinguished bird singers and dancers will discuss aspects of traditional bird singing and dancing past and present, and what the future holds for this unique performance practice. Traditional regalia will be discussed.

Free Admission

Auditorium of University of California Riverside, Palm Desert Campus
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert


Saturday, February 6, 2016 • Noon – 7:00 PM

Singing the Birds (Wikitmallem Tahmuwhae): Bird Song & Dance Festival

Guest Host: Michael Mirelez (Desert Cahuilla)

Through the ages, bird singing and dancing have been an important part of Native culture for tribes in southern California and other regions of the Southwest. The event features honored bird singers and dancers from California and Arizona. The festival will include an onsite exhibition about the tradition of bird singing and dancing – past and present. Native crafts and food vendors will be in attendance, and there will be displays of Native American educational and special event information. 

Free Admission & Parking

Day-of-event staff phone number is 760.218.1404.  

Palm Springs High School Gymnasium
2301 East Baristo Road, Palm Springs


Wednesday, February 24, 2016 • 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Short Films by Native Americans
In Association with Palm Springs Public Library

See some of the best film shorts available from Native American and other Indigenous filmmakers. You will enjoy these poignant and entertaining films.

Free Admission

Palm Springs Public Library
300 South Sunrise Way, Palm Springs


Thursday, February 25, 2016 • 6:30 PM

Relevance of Collections to Reality

Presenter: Sven D. Haakanson, Jr., Ph.D. (Alutiig)

Dr. Haakanson is Curator at the Burke Museum and teaches courses in the Anthropology Department of University of Washington. His work focuses on the revitalization of Indigenous language and bringing back traditional Native Alaskan ways of living. Dr. Haakanson is an accomplished artist and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007. He will be talking about how we can take an ethnographic piece from the past and put it back into a living context in our own community.

Auditorium of University of California Riverside, Palm Desert Campus
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive in Palm Desert


Tuesday, March 1 – Sunday, March 6, 2016

Native FilmFest

Guest Programmer: Elizabeth Weatherford

Now in its fifteenth season, Native FilmFest is one of the Nation’s most highly regarded festivals of its kind – featuring the best in films by, about, and starring Native americans and other Indigenous peoples. Guest Programmer is Elizabeth Weatherford, Director and Founder of the Film and Video Center at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.

Festival Schedule

Tuesday Opening Night Event 7:00 PM

Wednesday Screening 8:00 PM

Thursday Screening 5:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Friday Screening 5:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Saturday Screening 5:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Sunday Screening 5:00 PM

Information about tickets and the films to be screened will be announced online on February 1, 2016. For additional informationcall 760.833.8169 or e-mail cvictor@accmuseum.org.

Day-of-Event Museum Staff Phone: 760-218-1404.

Camelot Theatres
2300 East Baristo Road, Palm Springs


Tuesday, March 15, 2016 • 6:30 PM

An Evening of Storytelling

Presenter: Tim Tingle (Choctaw)

Tim Tingle is an author and storyteller who will entertain us with readings from his award-winning books. Last year, he was selected to represent the Native voice in the storytelling program at the Library of Congress, and has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In association with arts programs of the Palm Springs Unified School District, Mr. Tingle will also present a series of performances and readings for District classroom students of all ages.

Auditorium at University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Campus
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive in Palm Desert