Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more


Family Event | Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Monday, October 10

On October 8, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a presidential proclamation stating that “(o)n Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treat obligations to Tribal Nations.”

For thousands of years, the place now known as Chicago was a thriving center of Indigenous life. Potawatomi people lived on and took care of the land until they were forced out by non-Native settlers. The Ojibwe, Odawa, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Miami, Mascouten, Sac and Fox, Kickapoo, Ho-Chunk, Menomonee, and tribes whose names have been lost as a result of genocide also lived, gathered, and traded in this region. In 1833, the US government imposed the Treaty of Chicago, which forced most Potawatomi to leave the area.

Chicago today owes much to the Indigenous peoples of this land. In fact, the city’s name comes from “Checagou,” likely derived by French traders from the word “Zhegagoynak.” In Potawatomi, “zhegagosh” means “wild onion” and “nak” means “the place of.”

During World War II, many Native people began migrating to Chicago, and Indigenous peoples continue to play a vital role in the city. In fact, Chicago has the third largest urban Native American population in the US following generations of forced removal, relocation, and assimilation practices common throughout the nation.

Included with general admission, which is FREE for Illinois residents on this day. RSVP appreciated but not required.



To come!

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Three Tsistsistas (Cheyenne) from Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota, standing at the foot of a stairwell in Chicago, 1907. DN-0004923
Native Americans gather at the Civic Center to demonstrate support for American Indian Movement takeover of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, March 21, 1973. ST-70005505-0001
Members of the Chicago-area Native American community gather for an event, Chicago, Sept. 27, 1992. ST-20002194-0001
Residents of Native American descent hold a vigil in protest of Columbus Day festivities at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave., Chicago, Oct. 10, 1992. ST-10002267-0043

The Details



10 th

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614

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