The literature about the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (MPMRC) doesn't really convey a sense of its enormity and scope, but trust me on this: no matter how you come away from its sometimes challenging displays and programs, it is an experience not to be missed.
There's no way to do justice to the MPMRC's ambitions in just a few words. A huge, far-reaching and encyclopedic Native American history treat in the hills north of Mystic, Connecticut, its point of departure, geologically speaking, is the Ice Age of 18,000 years ago that mauled North America. Its cultural start is the creation myths of the ancient tribal nations indigenous to the continent.
From there, a series of “multi-sensory immersion” experiences – including extensive dioramas, like a walk-through, audio-guided, full-size replica of a 16th-century Pequot village – give great weight to botany, geology, and traditional and natural Native American practices, while the history marks the arrival of the Europeans and then charts the rise and bloody fall of the Pequots, including their near extinction.
The MPMRC, which includes 85,000 square feet of exhibit space, two resource libraries, an auditorium, shop, restaurant, cedar-forest-facing terrace and even a 185-foot, stone-and-glass tower with panoramic views, is a poignant memorial to the survival of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation – not to mention that of other Native American and First Nation peoples – often against all odds.