Within TAG, we have created a permanent exhibit for students where they can explore Native American culture and history. Hands-on stations are paired with educational activities and programing, such as partnering with the Chicago Blackhawks’ to share the Native perspective and history behind their logo.
In our exhibit we have several Native American artifacts and primary sources to give students a first-hand experience of the American Indian culture. There is a Plains Indian-style handmade teepee where visitors can go inside and imagine how the Plains Indians lived. There is a hands-on exhibit of real Native American artifacts, including a Native drum and some dance regalia still used today in modern tribal ceremonies. Visitors can try their hand at playing a traditional drum and can learn about how such drums were, and still are, used in traditional powwows. In the center of the exhibit is a student-friendly floor map of the United States (25’ x 25’) labeling the traditional lands of the North American tribes, giving visitors an opportunity to visualize where all of the tribes were situated linguistically as they walk across the United States. Finally, there are future plans for adding a longhouse from the Midwestern tribes with informational posters to the exhibit to illustrate the other types of Native dwellings to compare with the teepee popularized by Hollywood. Included in the tour upon teacher’s request are arts and crafts activities and, weather permitting, a tour of our medicinal garden that contains plants indigenous to the Illinois area.