Published January 13, 2016
EVANSTON, ILLINOIS—Join the Mitchell Museum on Saturday, January 30 from 11am-4pm for a behind the scenes experience as Christine Red Cloud (White Earth Ojibwe) and Eli Suzukovich III (Little Shell Band of Chippewa-Cree) restore the birch bark lodge located on the second floor of the museum. Special presentations will take place on the hour between 12-2pm. The event is free with regular admission.
The lodge (wigwam in Ojibwe) is an integral part of our docent led tour program for the almost 5,000 students that come through the museum each year. It has been in the museum since 2008, and is in need of cleaning and repairs. It is constructed of rough birch and boxelder limbs and covered with sheets of birch bark. Birch bark is a durable material and can last for a many years, with a little maintenance.
The lodge, which is about half the size of one used by hunters, is the kind of structure that Native people in the Great Lakes area would have lived in, and is commonly made for temporary purposes such as hunting and fishing camps. It is one of many different styles of wigwam, and is designed to be built on frozen ground.
Not only will visitors get to see the restoration process, learn about the different styles of wigwams, and ask questions, they will also learn about birch bark and its qualities and uses. Birch forest ecology, and it tremendous significance among the Native Peoples of the Midwest, Northeast, and Subarctic regions will also be discussed.
The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history and culture of American Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada. In 2012, The Mitchell Museum was named “Best Museum of The North Shore: Up and Comer” by Make it Better magazine, won the Superior award by the Illinois Association of Museums and was named a national finalist by the American Association of State and Local History award program. The Chicago Tribune named the Mitchell Museum one of its top 10 museums for 2015.
For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit www.mitchellmuseum.org, call 847-475-1030 or see our verified Facebook page. The museum is located in Evanston, Illinois at 3001 Central Street. It is open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and Free for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.