Founded in 2016 as part of the museum’s Indigenous Empowerment Network, the shop features a variety of art, from jewelry and prints to handmade craftwork, along with traditional children’s toys, books by Native authors, museum T-shirts, and more.
Located toward the rear of the Tomaquag Museum, along the scenic stretch of Summit Road in Exeter, the shop itself is only accessible during museum visits or by appointment.
As one of Rhode Island’s only Indigenous-owned and -operated businesses, the store highlights the wares of more than 30 Native artists in an educational, welcoming space, immediately evident in the carefully arranged and labeled pieces on display. Assistant Director Silvermoon LaRose explains, “The museum not only provides a constant market for artists but informs and educates the public about cultural appropriation and the importance of purchasing authentic Native art.” Shop attendants offer assistance and cultural context to help patrons choose out the perfect gift or memento, whether it’s therapeutic-grade products from a Mohegan tribal citizen’s healing line or Narragansett artist Robin Spears Jr.’s hand-carved Ring and Pin games. While COVID-19 makes for a slightly more restricted shopping experience, an online shop allows patrons to view personal stories and traditions behind their purchases.
Tomaquag Museum Gift Shop • 390 A Summit Road, Exeter • @tomaquagmuseum