Family craftsPhoto courtesy of the Mitchell Museum

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is embarking on a major outreach campaign to dispel American Indian stereotypes and provide a deeper understanding of past and present American Indian cultures by offering a free presentation on Native American issues to schools.

Made possible by a grant from The Woman’s Club of Evanston, the program will be offered free of charge until the end of May 2014. Schools and other organizations can choose a 20-minute, 40-minute or one-hour presentation tailored to appropriate grade-level and age. After May, the program will expand to other areas and will include a fee.
All presentations are given by American Indian presenters and offer a hands-on look at traditional and contemporary art and lifeways such as basketry, pottery, quillwork, beadwork and moccasin-making. Groups will learn about contemporary topics of Indian Country culture including defining who is Native, tribal diversity, language and more.

“Many people are unaware that there are 5 million American Indians in the United States today, with more than 30,000 residing in the Chicagoland area alone,” says Kathleen McDonald, executive director of the Mitchell Museum. “We are grateful for the generosity of The Woman’s Club of Evanston in helping to bring this program to life so that the community can learn more about their Native friends and neighbors.”

The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history and culture of the  American Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada.

The museum has won the Superior award given by the Illinois Association of Museums and was named a national finalist by the American Association of State and Local History award program.
The museum is open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and free for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.