Behind the Scenes: Restoring the Birch Bark Lodge 


Published January 29, 2016

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS — On January 30, 2016, Christine Red Cloud (White Earth Ojibwe) and Eli Suzukovich III (Little Shell Band of Chippewa-Cree) will be working on restoring the birch bark lodge located on the second floor of the museum. Christine and Eli are basket makers from Chicago who specialize in birch bark and sweet grass baskets.

Unlike the larger dome shaped wiig-i-waam (Ojibwe) or wâs-kay-i-kan (Cree), the lodge at the Mitchell Museum is a conical shaped structure known as a ba-eesh-ka-o-gaan (Ojibwe) or mi-kee-wah-p (Cree) is commonly made for temporary purposes, such as hunting and fishing camps. The lodge is constructed of rough birch and boxelder limbs and covered with sheets of birch bark. The lodge has been in the museum since 2008 and is in need of some cleaning and repairs. Birch bark is a durable material and can last for a many years, with a little maintenance.

Between 12:00-2:00pm, there will be informal presentations about birch bark, its qualities and uses, birch forest ecology, and it tremendous significance among the Native Peoples of the Midwest, Northeast, and Subarctic regions.

Free with General Museum Admission


Restoration of birch bark lodge


Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

3001 Central Street

Evanston, Illinois 60626



Saturday, January 30, 2016, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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