Author David Beck will visit the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian on Thursday, May 21 from 6-8pm to discuss his latest book City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934. Co-authored with Rosalyn R. LaPier, the book explores how Native Americans in Chicago voiced their opinions about political, social, educational, and racial issues and struggled to reshape nostalgic perceptions of American Indians. A book signing will follow.

In the 1920s, Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson declared that the Chicago public schools teach “America First.” Local American Indian leaders publicly challenged him to include the true story of the first Americans. The story is just part of a much bigger one. American Indian men and women who migrated to Chicago in the late 1800s and early 1900s developed new associations and organizations to help each other, and ultimately created a new place to call home in a modern city.

The discussion and book signing event is $10 for museum members and $12 for non-members. Copies of City Indian will be available for purchase in the museum shop. For more information, contact visitor services at or call (847)475-1030.

Dr. David R.M. Beck is a professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. He is an award winning historian and the author of several books including Seeking Recognition: The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siulaw Indians, 1855-1984 and The Struggle for Self-Determination: Menominee Indian History Since 1854.

Dr. Beck works to identify and analyze American Indian agency in the course of tribal history. He has research interests in federal Indian policy, twentieth century American Indian history, tribal sovereignty, and urban Indian history. He has studied these fields in relation to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the southwest Oregon coast, and the Chicago American Indian community. In his teaching he attempts to provide students with the analytical tools and knowledge base to promote tribal community development.