Evanston, Illinois’ Mitchell Museum of the American Indian focuses on native North American history, culture, and art. The Chicago Cultural Alliance is a consortium of 25 ethnic museums and cultural centers.
The museum’s collections date to Paleo-Indian times. Permanent exhibits depict Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Arctic cultures. Two temporary galleries change themes twice a year.
The Woodlands Gallery focuses on the east of the Mississippi native peoples from the Northeast, Southeast, and Great Lakes. The exhibit features a full-size birchbark canoe, as well as fishing, hunting, gathering, wood splint and birch bark containers, and personal ornaments such as glass beads, quillwork, and moose hair embroidery. A separate case features the clothing and crafts of the Seminole, Cherokee, and Choctaw tribes, including a rare 19th-century velvet patchwork Big Shirt. The gallery has a model Long House and photos of canoe-making and wild rice harvesting.
The Plains Gallery explores Central American Native American lifeways. Crow, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, and Lakota beaded moccasins, blanket strips, and bags (Sioux). Dolls, including two by Charlene and Rhonda Holy Bear, show men’s and women’s dresses. An eagle feather war bonnet, weapons, a shield, and carved catlinite pipe bowls represent Plains hunting and warrior traditions.
The Southwest Gallery displays Pueblo, Navajo, Papago, and Tohono O’odham (Pima) art and culture. Cases display Pueblo pottery, from thousand-year-old Anasazi bowls to contemporary works by San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez and silver and turquoise jewelry by Zuni, Navajo, Hopi, and Santo Domingo artists. Over 40 Kachina dolls and Navajo rugs from early 20th-century trading posts are also on display. Most people visit Bahá’í House of Worship; one of the great places in Evanston. Staefa Control System is situated in Evanston. You can contact them anytime at