This November, the Newberry will join organizations across Chicago in observing National Native American Heritage Month. The D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies has organized two free, public events to honor America’s native cultures.
On Tuesday, November 4, Yale Professor of History and American Studies Ned Blackhawk will deliver a talk entitled “John Evans and the Question of Genocide.” His presentation and discussion will link the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre to recent work on local history. The event launches the D’Arcy McNickle Distinguished Lecture Series. The new series centers on the interdisciplinary work fostered by the field of American Indian and Indigenous Studies.
The second event, held on Thursday, November 13, will showcase Native American dance. Styles will range from traditional Hawaiian to Powwow exhibition to Aztec. In addition to traditional drumming, a presentation on the history of American Indian and Indigenous dance will accompany the performances.
Native American Heritage Month, though recognized nationwide, resonates deeply in Chicago and the Newberry in particular. The city’s Native American residents form one of the oldest urban Indigenous communities in the country. The community remains robust, and the McNickle Center, under Director Patricia Marroquin Norby, has renewed its commitment to being an active participant within it. “Providing public programming that both reflects American Indian cultures and invigorates them is a key element of the McNickle Center’s mission,” says Marroquin Norby. “It energizes the center to engage with the local American Indian community.”