Of This Place

Of This Place: Native Nations in the Rockford Region

A Temporary Burpee Museum Exhibition

Brought to you by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation & BMO Harris Bank

The Burpee Museum invites you to experience our newest contemporary exhibition, “Of This Place.” This exhibition is a collaborative effort between the Burpee Museum and Native people from the Sac and Fox, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe Nations, curated by Starla Thompson (Forest Band Potawatomi).

Be inspired by contemporary and traditional artworks and learn about the histories of the four represented Nations from their own cultural educators and artists. Experience the living cultures, languages, and history of the Native American people who are of this place.

Mehkwitêhêweni (To Remember) Sac and Fox

Shodë é dnezthêk  (The ones who live or stay here) Potawatomi

Asinine ziibii anishinaabewag (Indians of Rock River) Ojibwe

Grand Opening Celebration July 29, 2022
General Public Opening Date: July 30, 2022
Anishinaabe Art

AnungoKwe/Alexandria Sulainis are etching a basket on display at Burpee Museum. AnungoKwe Alexandria Sulainis is a proud member of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi.

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Boarding Schools – Assimilation

Chiricahua Apaches upon arrival at boarding school, dated 1885. Between the mid-1700s and mid-1900s, the U.S. government enacted systematic cultural assimilation of Native American people by placing Native American children in boarding schools.

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Historical Maps

Villages in 1830. Illinois has always been home to the Potawatomi, Sac and Fox, Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, and more nations. In 1830, there were 3,600 Potawatomi Indians and over 40 Potawatomi villages in Illinois.

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Missing and Murdered Indigenous People

The red handprint across the face of this Forest Band Potawatomi woman is a symbol of solidarity with her MMI Relatives. It is also associated with the fight against the destruction of the natural world and resource extraction—photo by Joseph Kayne.

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Historic Photos

Potawatomi Woman 1904 U. S. Indian School, St Louis, Missouri. Photograph probably taken at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis.

Sac and Fox Art

Tony Tiger 2001. Acrylic on canvas. “Inspired by relationships between the past and current generations that continue to carry the hope for future generations of Sauk people.”

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Modern Tin Type Photos

Wasnodé (Northern Lights) Potawatomi/Ojibwe Bear Clan. A tin type is an old style of photograph that creates an image on a thin metal sheet coated with a dark lacquer or enamel—photo by Joseph Kayne.

Biskakone Greg Johnson
Living Traditionally in a Modern Context

Biskakone Greg Johnson is a proud member of the Lac du Flambeau band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. He is an acclaimed artist and graphic designer. He has mastered the art of Ojibwe moccasin-making and has loaned beautiful examples to the Burpee Museum.