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Mitchell Museum of the American Indian and the city of Evanston are joining leaders of other progressive cities, universities and cultural institutions around the world to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Celebrated on the second Monday of October, Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates the contributions of Indigenous people throughout the world, and acknowledges the many tribes who lived across America long before Christopher Columbus and waves of immigrants came to America.

Evanston was once home to tribes including the Ho-Chunk, Ottawa, Miami, and Potawatomi, and continues to be a home for Indigenous peoples with over 40,000 Native Americans currently living in the Chicago metropolitan area, representing over 150 different tribes. By adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Evanston embraces its history and the multicultural community it has become today.

“The leadership at the Mitchell Museum suggested we use the term Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I believe it is the right thing to do and thank them for their work on this issue,” said the Honorable Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl of the City of Evanston.

In 2016, Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be celebrated on Monday, October 10. The Mitchell Museum will be open and offering free admission all day long in honor of the holiday. The museum will host a discussion panel in the afternoon, and a benefit concert that evening featuring nationally renowned Native musicians including Scatter Their Own. Tickets and more details will be available soon.

On Tuesday May 10th, The Mitchell Museum will host an “On the Table” brown bag lunch discussion from 12-1pm about Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and additional ways we can bring greater focus and recognition to issues surrounding Native peoples at the museum and beyond. There is no charge for this event. Please RSVP by May 6 at 847.475.1030. or visitor.services@mitchellmuseum.org.

This summer, the museum will be offering a teacher’s forum so that educators can learn more about Indigenous Peoples’ Day and ways in which to incorporate it into their curriculum. To stay up to date on the latest information surrounding Indigenous People’s Day and related activities and programming, visit the museum’s website at www.mitchellmuseum.org, follow the museum on Facebook, or contact Visitor Services at visitor.services@mitchellmuseum.org to subscribe to the museum’s bi-monthly E-blasts.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day began in Berkeley, California in 1992. Major cities including Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Anchorage, Alaska, Portland Oregon, San Fernando, California, Durango, Colorado, Asheville, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, Lawrence, Kansas, and many more have adopted resolutions celebrating the holiday since 2014. Major universities including Brown University, Cornell University, Tufts University, and the University Of Oklahoma, among others, have also adopted the holiday.

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. The Chicago Tribune named the Mitchell Museum one of its top 10 museums for 2015.

For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit www.mitchellmuseum.org, call 847-475-1030 or see our verified Facebook page. The museum is located in Evanston, Illinois at 3001 Central Street. It 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.