Every November, Native American Heritage Month (NAHM) is celebrated to learn about and recognize Native citizens as the country’s original inhabitants and for their essential contributions. Though many values and traditions may be shared, it is important to acknowledge that each Native American nation and community has its own rich history and culture.
Our region is located in the traditional homeland of the Council of the Three Fires–comprised of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations–as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo, and Illinois Nations. We recognize that these tribes and many others served as stewards of the land before us. Today, Chicago has the third-largest urban Indian population in the United States, with more than 65,000 Native Americans in the greater metropolitan area with over 175 different tribes represented.
This month also marks six years since 200+ Native American tribes stood together to protect their land and water, protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. Our Spring 2018 CMASJ art show, Just Add Water, featured an installation honoring these tribes–take some time to explore and learn more.
We invite you to use the resources below to develop a deeper appreciation for the progress, dignity, and humanity of the many diverse Native Americans who still live and practice their traditions on this land today.
Read a book by a Native American author.
Join in the fun of designing and creating a dreamcatcher, a Native American tradition. Materials will be provided.
Intro to Indigenous Foods: Menominee Wild Rice
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Saturday, November 05
Learn about Indigenous foods with Chef Jessica Pamonicutt (Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin) as she demonstrates how to make Manomin, a traditional Menominee Wild Rice Ceremonial dish that is thousands of years old.
Drop in for a fun, self-led after-school activity. Create a representative of a Spin Drum whose origins point to Iroquois Tribes. For kids 6 to 13.
Celebrate Native American Heritage by using rocks, twigs, fabric, colored paper, and a few other items to create any design or scene that comes to mind. Due to limited space and supplies, advance registration is required.
Virtual Adult Book Discussion: Braiding Sweetgrass
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM| Monday, November 14
A virtual discussion of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Things Stolen, Things Returned: Two Films about the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation with ‘Nalaga Donna Cranmer and Judy Hoffman
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM | Thursday, November 17
Daley, Richard J.-Bridgeport
A screening of two films about the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation with ‘Nalaga Donna Cranmer and Judy Hoffman.
Indigenous History, Mystery, and Cultural Pride with Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Friday, November 18
An interactive, musical storytelling event centering on Indigenous culture with Mama Edie (an African Native American) in honor of Native American Heritage Month, featuring multicultural instruments and dolls. Registration required.
Seeking Sonder Exhibit
American Indian Center
Works by Akina Curley (Ojibwe/Diné) exploring other capacities/disciplines of expression that missions to challenge audiences about Native art today through a contemporary aesthetic.
Spend a weekend volunteering at the Indian American Cultural Association
Become a docent at The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, one of only a handful of museums across the country focusing exclusively on the art, history, and culture of Native American and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada.
Stop by the Bistro Cafe at the Field Museum to try Ketapanen Kitchen, a Chicago-based pop-up and catering business run by a Menominee chef. The pop-up menu features items like Blueberry Bison Tamales, Manoomin Meatballs, and Medicine Berry Mousse.
Support Indigenous Business