facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

CHICAGO—Yesterday, the American Indian Health Service of Chicago hosted a Trunk-or-Treat event  to build community as the pandemic continues to waver. Created a year ago in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular Halloween event was initially organized by Young Native Leaders in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools American Indian program.

Families brought children to collect candy, learn more about the history of the community, and gather safely in the parking lot of the organization. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, attendees of the event had to fill out a survey for data purposes and get their temperature checked to attend. Members of federally recognized American Indian tribes could also get a free flu-shot at the event. 

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

"Our mission, at the American Indian Health Service of Chicago, is about healing," said AIHSC Outreach Director Cyndee Fox-Starr to Native News Online. "We promote healing physicially, mentally, spiritually and emotionally from our cultural values." Fox-Starr is enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. 

“This event is about bringing people together,” said American Indian Center of Chicago Executive Director Melodi Serna (Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Oneida), who attended the event. “It’s so good to see our community get together and be a community.” 

The event also showcased various community based organizations that provide services to the American Indian community in Chicago. 

“Our children wanted to bring our community together,” said Josee Starr to Native News Online. “The success of the event was seeing our community come together, smile and hope in the midst of the pandemic.” Starr was previously the Youth Programs Coordinator for the St. Kateri Center in Chicago and is now working as Operations Manager at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, Illinois. Both organizations contributed to the event. 

Last year’s event served more than 200 children. Numbers this year were near 75 children, and this year’s event was shorter in duration. 

The American Indian Center of Chicago was established in 1953 and is the first urban American Indian center established in the country as thousands of families moved to the city during the Indian Relocation program. Today, more than 60,000 American Indians live in and around the city. 

More Stories Like This

Potential First Native American Federal Judge in Oklahoma Advances Toward Senate Confirmation
Photos from the 2023 White House Tribal Nations Summit
Native News Weekly (December 10, 2023): D.C. Briefs
December 10th is the 75th Human Rights Day
Vice President Harris Addresses Indian Boarding Schools at the White House Tribal Nations Summit

In a world filled with inaccurate narratives about Native Americans, we spotlight the overlooked, unheard and underrepresented stories that are often overlooked by the mainstream media. Our journalism is free for all to read, but it is not free to produce. Your donation provides the much-needed financial support for us to produce inclusive Indigenous journalism that inspires, informs and uplifts Native Americans. Thank you for being a force behind our work. Together, we are rewriting the narrative.
About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.