The paper presents almost 50-year story of the monumental series, Handbook of North American Indians produced by the Smithsonian Institution. The 20-volume series was started in 1966 and was originally planned to be published by 1976. Due to repeated delays, its opening volume 1, "Introduction" was eventually put on hold after its initial preparation in 1972–1975. In 2013–2014, a group of Smithsonian anthropologists has re-started the production of the unfinished introductory volume using a new volume outline and recruiting a new editorial board and new team of authors. The work on the new Introduction, after a gap of 40 years, offered a remarkable opportunity to address the changes in how anthropologists study Native American cultures and societies and present them to diverse audiences, including Native Americans themselves.