Monday, May 11th: History. UM professors Rosalyn LaPier and David Beck read from their new book City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934. 7 pm.
In City Indian, Rosalyn R. LaPier and David R. M. Beck tell the engaging story of American Indian men and women who migrated to Chicago from across America. From the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to the 1934 Century of Progress Fair, American Indians in Chicago voiced their opinions about political, social, educational, and racial issues.
City Indian focuses on the privileged members of the American Indian community in Chicago who were doctors, nurses, business owners, teachers, and entertainers. During the Progressive Era, more than at any other time in the city’s history, they could be found in the company of politicians and society leaders, at Chicago’s major cultural venues and events, and in the press, speaking out. When Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson declared that Chicago public schools teach “America First,” American Indian leaders publicly challenged him to include the true story of “First Americans.” As they struggled to reshape nostalgic perceptions of American Indians, these men and women developed new associations and organizations to help each other and to ultimately create a new place to call home in a modern American city.
Rosalyn R. LaPier is an assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montana. David R. M. Beck is a professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. He is the author of several books, including Seeking Recognition: The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siulaw Indians, 1855–1984 (Nebraska, 2009) and The Struggle for Self-Determination: Menominee Indian History since 1854 (Nebraska, 2005).