Joe Podlesak in Native Condition. Discussion »
The Battle of Fort Dearborn is a moment in time that should always be remembered for much more than a massacre or battle.
It was a time when our relatives from the Potawatomi Tribe and other tribes who lived here were faced with defending their lands from many attacks, both physical and political.
Joe Podlasek - Lac Courte Oreilles, Ojibwe
As we remember an event that happened 200 years ago, looking to tell the entire history should be the next step.
I feel that is the real issue of today's children is not hearing or having access to the entire story. The need to appreciate the lands they live, work and play on everyday is important.
Children need to engage with the American Indian community to learn that our culture is alive and growing. There are Native communities all around them, no matter in what state they live, who would welcome educational discussions. Visiting tribal lands is an honor that should be embarked upon.
Today in Chicago, there is still a vibrant community and the oldest urban Indian Center in the country that can still engage in this history that has designed curriculum for elementary and high school student to learn and teachers to attend professional development workshops from Native eyes.
Start the 200th anniversary in a positive way, with connecting with a Native organization in your area. In Chicago, it is the American Indian Center at 1630 West Wilson, Chicago 60640; www.aic-chicago.org or Trickster Art Gallery at 190 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Illinois that focuses on contemporary Native arts.
Please help our future generations of all people learn and expand their horizon. If you are not in or from Chicago, check out www.nuifc.org for a national listing of urban Indian Centers like in Chicago!
Please take the time, as our veterans have done and protect the lands we walk on, you do not know who will be in that next step. As I am not a historian, but one who looks to a brighter today and tomorrow.
Editor's Note: This week marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Dearborn that happened in Chicago, where today there is a commemorative sculpture at the corner of Michigan and Wacker Drive.
200th Anniversary of "Battle" Won by Potawatomi
Joe Podlasek, a tribal citizen of the Ojibwe Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe in northern Wisconsin, is the executive director of the American Indian Center of Chicago, the oldest urban American Indian center in the United States. The father of three has served in this capacity for the past 12 years, as well as serving on numerous boards and committees to improve the lives of urban American Indians.
posted August 17, 2012 7:00 am edt