Category Archives: Chicago

Podcast and Video of My Talk at Moraine Valley Community College: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago: Special Guest Dr. John Low

Dr. John Low from the Ohio State University will be speaking about this book Imprints: the Potawatomi Indians & the City of Chicago (2016, Michigan State University Press). Dr. Low will examine the ways some Pokagon Potawatomi tribal members have maintained a distinct Native identity in Chicago, their rejection of assimilation and their desire for inclusion without forfeiting their “Indianness.” This event is part of our campus programming to commemorate the Illinois bicentennial.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago: Special Guest Dr. John Low?

The audio of this discussion is available below:

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“The Power of Place: The Indigenous Peoples of Northeastern Illinois; the Fox River Valley”; 11/15/18 at Aurora University (IL)

Lecture: John N. Low, PhD

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 7 p.m.

Aurora Flyer

Join Pokagon Potawatomi Indian John N. Low as he discusses the history of the use of a vast network of trails and portages in Northeastern Illinois between two great water systems: the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.

Indigenous peoples had long settled in villages in what is now northeastern Illinois, prior to contact with Europeans.  Northeastern Illinois was one of the best places to portage between two great water systems: the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. Native peoples could paddle to the St. Lawrence River or Allegheny River in the east, and on to the Atlantic Ocean or south to the Gulf of Mexico or to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the west. Native Americans understood the importance of this geography and took advantage of this portage system to trade goods for hundreds of years before European settlers arrived. Today’s residents of Aurora and surrounding communities also know the richness of the soil and the resources that made the region a very special place to live.

WBEZ: Map Quest: Searching for Chicago’s ‘Lizard Mound’: An odd detail on a map suggests Chicago may have once been home to an ancient effigy mound.

Map Quest: Searching for Chicago’s ‘Lizard Mound’

Story at link above.

img_0443_edited_green-750x1277.jpeg

Dilg’s map shows a lizard-shaped mound on the block bounded by Oakdale Avenue, Sheffield Avenue, Wellington Avenue, and Mildred Avenue (formerly “May Street”), oriented from north to south, in the western third of the block. (Courtesy Chicago History Museum, Charles A. Dilg collection)

The Power of Place The Potawatomi, Chicago and Wheaton: Friday, December 8th, 4:00 pm, Wheaton College

The Power of Place

Working Hard During National Native American Heritage Month

I had the honor to be the keynote speaker for National Native American Heritage Month celebrations at Wright State University, the Ohio National Guard, and Defiance College this month. At each venue I was impressed with the desire of the audiences to learn more about the indigenous peoples of the United States.

2017-AIHM-program

I was also interviewed by Michigan Public Radio for their program “Stateside with Cynthia Canty.”  broadcast  in Ann Arbor (the statewide NPR affiliate). Stateside includes a  Michigan History Center (MHC) production of a weekly Michigan History segment. With November being Native American History month, the folks at the Michigan History Center and the station wanted to do a couple of history segments focusing on Native Michiganders. I joined Cynthia and the MHC’s Sandra Clark to discuss the story of Leopold Pokagon and how decisions he made in the 1800s still impact lives today. Here is a link to the program:

Leopold Pokagon: How a band of Potawatomi converted to Catholicism and avoided removal

I also had the opportunity to participate in the symposium “Collaborative Curation of North American Human Remains.” at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago this month. Participants included museum professional and tribal nation representatives, as well as those like myself who have written about and/or engaged in repatriation efforts. While it was obvious to me that there is much work to yet be done to get everyone on the same page, I was heartened by the sincere effort that everyone made to listen to the views and suggestions of others. Special thanks to Helen Robbins from the Field Museum for inviting me!

NU-NAISA commemorates the 153rd Sand Creek Massacre anniversary (Northwestern University)

NAISA commemorates the 153rd Sand Creek Massacre anniversary

Was an invited speaker to this amazing event. Story linked above.

Without Native Americans, Would We Have Chicago As We Know It? (WBEZ Story)

Without Native Americans, Would We Have Chicago As We Know It?

Names like DuSable, Marquette, and Joliet are cited in the history books. But it was Native Americans who first set the foundation for Chicago to develop into a major Midwestern metropolis.

I was recently interviewed for this great story (audio and text linked above) on Native contributions to the city of Chicago.

chicago_1820_onwhite-mr_jluhltv Between 1790 and 1830, Europeans and Americans, and their Native American spouses, established a small trading community at the mouth of the Chicago river. (Courtesy Library of Congress)