Indians of the Midwest: An Archive of Endurance

Thomas Loraine McKenney, Portrait of Amiskquew in History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Ayer folio E77 .M131 1858
Thomas Loraine McKenney, Portrait of Amiskquew in History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Ayer folio E77 .M131 1858

The story of the Indians of the Midwest is one of endurance.  Beyond the rich oral narratives that many tribes maintain, the Newberry houses an archive of materials that records and preserves aspects of the varied cultures and traditions of the indigenous nations of the region we have come to call the Midwest.  Though the greater Midwest is also home to peoples of the Plains, this exhibition focuses on the largely Algonquian and Siouan cultural region of the Great Lakes.  Native peoples of this region have long been at the cultural crossroads created by intertribal relations, the rise of the fur trade, colonialism, and finally Euro-American settlement.  From the ascendancy of Cahokia, the largest indigenous urban center north of Mexico, in what is now central Illinois, to the struggles for American Indian civil rights in the mid-twentieth century, the Midwest remains an Indian space.

 

 

 

Publication date: 

The gallery exhibition was on view at the Newberry from November 2 to December 31, 2011.

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