On today’s episode, we’re talking with an artist whose work proclaims the history of Potawatomi homeland along the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, and visit CPN House of Hope’s first Jump Start Day, designed to bring domestic violence and abuse services and information to the community in a positive and educational way.
Q&A with Ojibwe artist Andrea Carlson
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribal member and Chicago-based artist Andrea Carlson made a splash in 2021 when her piece “You are on Potawatomi Land” was installed along the RiverWalk in downtown Chicago. It is comprised of five banners, each 15’ high with a total width of 266’. They read “Bodéwadmikik ėthë yéyék/You are on Potawatomi Land” in bright red letters in both English and Potawatomi. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) of Chicago approached her to create a piece of public artwork, which she worked on for a year before installation along the river.
She was inspired after learning about Williams V. City of Chicago, a Supreme Court case from 1917, also known as the Sandbar Decision. The Pokagon Band sued for ownership of the shoreline of what is now the Chicago River along Lake Michigan where the banners now sit. The court sided with the city despite metropolitan expansion of the shoreline into unceded land never outlined in any previous treaty, including the treaties of Greenville and Chicago. Carlson sat down with Hownikan Podcast to discuss how she created the mural, the history that inspired it and her hopes for its long-term effect on the area.
“It was so fulfilling to present to Kellogg’s and not only prepare two of my favorite dishes but also to have them so interested in new flavors and types of foods,” she said. “As an Indigenous chef who never went to culinary school, this was a heartwarming experience.”
See a gallery of Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member’s pictures of the banners below. Find more of Andrea Carlson’s work at mikinaak.com.
House of Hope begins 2023 with new community outreach event
Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s domestic violence program, House of Hope, filled the Tribe’s North and South Reunion Halls on the powwow grounds with vendors and breakout sessions during its new Jump Start Day at the beginning of January. HOH Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist Kayla Woody wanted to host a different kind of community outreach event and began thinking of ideas during the coronavirus pandemic.
The day included 35 vendor tables as well as breakout sessions on smudging and some cultural knowledge, safety planning and more. Approximately 50 people attended throughout the day, and House of Hope had door prizes, free haircuts and other giveaways.
“We (HOH staff) were all just sitting around a table, and I said, ‘I really want to try to put something together where we can pull in all of these different resources in one place so someone can come in and not have to go to multiple locations to get the things that they need,’” Woody said.
Hownikan Podcast is produced and distributed by Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Public Information Department. Subscribe to Hownikan Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and wherever you find your favorite shows. Find digital editions of the Tribal newspaper here.