On Monday, October 10, the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian will join other cultural institutions, universities, and cities around the world to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The day celebrates the contributions of indigenous people throughout the world, and acknowledges the many tribes who lived across America long before Christopher Columbus.

The museum will be open and free to the public from 10am-5pm, with a panel discussion on historical and political aspects of Indigenous Peoples’ Day from 1-2:30. The panel will include musician Scotti Clifford (Lakota) and Professor Patty Loew (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe), among others. The day will culminate with a special concert featuring Native and Indigenous musicians.

The concert, sponsored by Northwestern University’s Native American and Indigenous Peoples Steering Group and Goodcity Chicago, features Evanston’s Mark Cleveland, folksingers the Sones de Mexico Ensemble, and Lakota alternative rock group Scatter Their Own. It will be held from 7:00-9:00pm at Northwestern’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Tickets are available at www.mitchellmuseum.org for $15 if purchased by 9/30, and $20 after.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the Indigenous heroes among us who have shaped our world and influenced generations with their achievements from the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations for its influence on developing the U.S Constitution to NASA astronaut and Navy Commander John Bennet Herrington (Chickasaw). Visitors to the Mitchell Museum can learn more about the accomplishments of important Native Americans like baseball pitcher Allie Reynolds (Creek) featured in the popular “Did you Know They’re Native” exhibit, and agronomics expert Jane Mt. Pleasant (Tuscarora), who is one of 12 Native women highlighted in the museum’s new “Contemporary Native Women Opening Doors to Change” exhibit.

Celebrated each year on the second Monday of October, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an international movement that began in 1977, Berkeley, California being the first city in the United States to adopt it 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.

“Indigenous Peoples’ Day holds a special meaning for the museum as we strive to fulfill our mission to promote and share a deeper understanding and respect of Native American peoples, “said Mitchell Museum Executive Director Kathleen McDonald. “This area 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, we embrace our history and the multicultural community we have become today.”

On Thursday, September 8, the Mitchell Museum will hold a brown bag dinner discussion in its library from 6-7:30pm for educators and community members to learn more about Indigenous Peoples’ Day, ways to incorporate it into curriculum, and share thoughts and ideas on future museum programming. For more information or to RSVP, contact Visitor Services at visitor.services@mitchellmuseum.org or call 847.475.1030.

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 10am to 5pm, Thursday, 10am to 8pm, Friday- Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday noon to 4pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and free for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.