For the third year, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl declared through proclamation that November will be Native American Heritage Month in the city of Evanston. Mayor Tisdahl urges Evanstonians to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities. Evanston’s own Mitchell Museum of the American Indian has events scheduled every week throughout the month of November for all age groups to learn more about American Indian life through lectures, crafts and exhibits.
With more than 40,000 Native Americans living in the Chicago area, including Evanston, the proclamation acknowledges the American Indian people’s significant contributions to the history and culture of the area. The Mitchell Museum has been educating local and international visitors for over 38 years about the art, history and culture of Native American and Indigenous peoples through its mission to promote and share a deeper understanding and respect of Native American Peoples.
Native American Awareness Week began in 1976. Recognition was expanded by Congress and approved by President George Bush in August of 1990 when he designated the Month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month. The national designation was later changed to Native American Heritage Month. Today, every November is celebrated nationally as Native American Heritage Month.
“We are thrilled that the City of Evanston has recognized the importance of the American Indian peoples, their history, and culture. While the museum offers excellent programming throughout the year, we hope that people will take advantage of the great programs we have to offer to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.” said Executive Director Kathleen McDonald.
November events include:
* Wednesday, Nov. 4 (until March 31, 2016) In conjunction with Northwestern University’s One Book program focusing on “The Inconvenient Indian”, visit the University Library (Room 1 South) on the Northwestern campus to see our exhibit “Deconstructing Stereotypes:Top Ten Truths.” The exhibit addresses various beliefs and myths in an attempt to break down stereotypes about American Indians. For more One Book events, go to northwestern.edu/onebook.
*Friday, Nov. 6 Free Admission Day
*Saturday, Nov. 7 (1:00-2:30pm) Calling all Girl Scouts! Take a look at Native American high fashion with a tour of our “Native Haute Couture” exhibit. Crafts and a fun badge for participation are included. Register for this Girl Scouts only event at www.girlscoutsgcnwi.org/activities-events. Fee is $12.00.
* Tuesday, Nov. 10 (5:30 Awards Ceremony & VIP reception/ 6:30 Lecture) Join us for the sixth annual Dr. Carlos Montezuma Honorary Lecture & Awards event that honors members of the American Indian community who have raised awareness and contributed to the community in the same spirit as Dr. Montezuma. John E. Echohawk (Pawnee), an attorney and founder of the Native American Rights Fund, will be the keynote speaker, and receive the event’s namesake award. New this year, Louis Delgado (Oneida) will be honored with the Elizabeth Seabury Mitchell Award for service and philanthropy, and artist Yvonne Walker Keshick (Little Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa) will receive the Woodrow “Woody” Crumbo Award for Native Arts. Fee: Lecture: $12 Members/ $15 Non-members/ FREE for Tribal Members, Northwestern Students & One Book steering members. Awards Ceremony & Lecture $30. Sponsored by Northwestern University and First Bank & Trust of Evanston.
*Saturday, Nov. 28 (3:00-4:00pm) Enjoy a docent led tour of our newest exhibit, “Pottery: A Timeless Tradition.” The exhibit showcases the time-honored pottery making skills and knowledge sustained for thousands of years in Native American and First Nations communities. Free with regular admission.
*Families can also stop by the Mitchell museum on Saturdays and Sundays to make a Native American inspired craft. Mitchell museum staff and volunteers lead kids in DIY projects to make simple versions of traditional Native American items including Zuni Fetish Bracelets, Concho Belts, Cherokee Book of Words, Talking Sticks, Coil Pottery and more. Kid’s crafts are offered Saturdays 11:00 am- noon and Sundays, 12:30-1:30 pm. The crafts are free with regular paid admission. The craft schedule in November is as follows: 7-8 Zuni Fetish Bracelets, 14-15 Cherokee Book of Words, 21-22 Talking Sticks, 28-29 Coil Pottery
*Saturday, Dec. 5 (10am-5:00pm) & Sunday, Dec. 6 (Noon-4:00pm) Though technically not in November, our Native Fine Arts Holiday Market is a great way to support Native artists across the Midwest. The two-day event showcases jewelry, pottery, beadwork, dolls, paintings, moccasins and an array of other items. There will also be artist demonstrations throughout the weekend. Our full schedule of demonstrations will be posted at www.mitchellmuseum.com prior to the market. The Native Fine Arts Holiday Market is free. Demonstrations are free with regular museum admission. Sponsored by First Bank & Trust of Evanston.
The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history, and culture of American Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada. In 2012, The Mitchell Museum was named “Best Museum of The North Shore: Up and Comer” by Make it Better magazine, won the Superior award by the Illinois Association of Museums and was named a national finalist by the American Association of State and Local History award program.
For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit www.mitchellmuseum.org. or call 847-475-1030. 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.