The Northwest Portage Walking Museum would invite visitors to learn about the history of Native communities between the Des Plaines River (above) and the Chicago River. Credit: Ela108 Garwacka-Goralik / Unsplash

Indigenous Peoples Day is coming up on Monday, which makes this weekend a good time to remind ourselves of the original peoples that inhabited our area, as well as support local makers and doers with Indigenous ties. While the city of Chicago hasn’t officially decided to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day as a holiday, other states and governments do, and even Chicago Public Schools has pivoted from its observance of Columbus Day to observe Indigenous Peoples Day instead.

In addition to the virtual concert hosted by the Old Town School of Folk Music that was highlighted in this week’s Gig Poster of the Week column (which features musicians Frank Waln, Opliam, and V4Loops) consider checking out and supporting the programming of Albany Park’s American Indian Center, which has been serving the community since 1953. It’s the oldest urban-based Native membership community center in the United States.

The center recently collaborated with the Chicago Public Art Group and the Portage Park Neighborhood Association to support the Northwest Portage Walking Museum, a community-led proposal for an interpretive learning and outdoor recreation experience that would be open to the public on the northwest side. The walk would invite visitors to learn about the history of Native communities between the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers. The campaign includes Serpent Mound, an installation in Schiller Woods by Indigenous artist and School of the Art Institute alum Santiago X.

And though the museum is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns, Evanston’s Mitchell Museum of the American Indian offers online curriculum resources and links for teachers and parents looking to expand their lessons on Indigenous culture and deconstructing stereotypes.

Things to read this weekend:

Events and exhibitions:

  • Thu-Mon thru 7/18/2021: The Field Museum hosts “Apsáalooke Women and Warriors,” a traveling exhibition of artifacts and information about the Apsáalooke people of the Northern Plains (also known as the Crow). The exhibition was curated by Apsáalooke scholar Nina Sanders with support from the Apsáalooke Nation and other Indigenous artists and scholars. A good reason to check out the Field, which is open with precautions against COVID-19: timed entry tickets, masks required, and social distancing enforced.
  • Thu-Sat through 10/24: Lisa Langford’s Rastus and Hattie is presented online by Berwyn’s 16th Street Theater in an audio play production with illustrations. Here’s a review by the Reader’s Kerry Reid.
  • Most Fridays through 11/13, 3 and 8 PM: Former Chicagoan and Rockford native Kurt Elling performs a series of livestream concerts co-presented by the Green Mill. Viewable at the streaming site Mandolin after ticket purchase.
  • Wed 10/14, 7 PM: Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy discusses his work (including his new book How To Write One Song) with actor Nick Offerman. Presented on the Hideout’s Noonchorus page.

Eds. Note: We updated this after initial publication to correct that the American Indian Center is located in Albany Park.