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Family Event: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 10, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

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.


October 10
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614 United States
+ Google Map
(312) 642-4600


Chicago History Museum

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