WBEZ | American Indian Center http://www.wbez.org/tags/american-indian-center Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Native American elder recalls isolation of early days in the city http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/native-american-elder-recalls-isolation-early-days-city-110193 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/140516%20StoryCorps%20Susan%20Kelly%20Power%20and%20Fr%20Peter%20Powell.JPG" style="height: 525px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="Susan Kelly Power and Father Peter Powell came by Chicago’s StoryCorps Booth to talk about the history of Native Americans in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)" />In the early 1950s, Chicago was home to less than 1,000 Native Americans. By 1960, that number had grown to 10,000, in large part because of changes to federal policy.</p><p><a href="http://www.pbs.org/indiancountry/history/relocate.html">The Indian Relocation programs of the 1950s</a> enticed many Native Americans to move from reservations to big cities, including Chicago. But many Native people felt isolated in their new surroundings, disconnected from their traditional cultures.</p><p><a href="http://aic-chicago.org/">The American Indian Center</a> was formed in 1953 in Uptown as a sanctuary for Native people. Father Peter Powell and Susan Kelly Power were among the Center&rsquo;s founders. Power, 89, is a Native American who grew up in North and South Dakota and moved here as a teenager.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20065509,00.html">Powell, who is white, has spent his career serving as a priest to the Native American population of Chicago.</a> They stopped in the StoryCorps booth recently to talk about how life has changed for Native American people since the 1950s.</p><p>&ldquo;In the early days of Relocation, it was a deliberate policy of the Indian Bureau to scatter people from the same tribe so they wouldn&rsquo;t get together,&rdquo; Father Powell said. A friend told him how she used to stand next to a poster of the ballerina Maria Tallchief because she was one of the only Native American she knew of in Chicago.</p><p>Native people helped each other adjust to city life, &ldquo;but the loneliness for home never left us,&rdquo; Power said. She made a name for herself recording the traditions of the various cultures.<a href="http://www.newberry.org/center-american-indian-and-indigenous-studies-fellowships"> The Newberry Library has a fellowship named in her honor, for scholars of Native American culture.</a> &ldquo;Everyone has a history and no one&rsquo;s history should be forgotten,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>More than six decades after it opened, the American Indian Center still stands in Chicago&rsquo;s Uptown community at 1630 W. Wilson.</p><p>&ldquo;That first generation [of Native Americans in Chicago] &ndash; so wonderfully traditional &ndash; was the foundation for our community today,&rdquo; Father Powell said. &ldquo;And the heart of that community is the American Indian Center.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re around us long enough, you become part of us and you feel it,&rdquo; Power said. &ldquo;Come up to our center sometime and you&rsquo;ll see. Indians are never nosy about if you&rsquo;re worth knowing, if you&rsquo;ve got a good enough job or a place to live in. Should I take the time to know you?&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 11:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/native-american-elder-recalls-isolation-early-days-city-110193 Clever Apes #29: Nature and human nature http://www.wbez.org/blogs/clever-apes/2012-04/clever-apes-29-nature-and-human-nature-97867 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//classroom drawing.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/classroom%20drawing_1.jpg" title="Menominee students integrate natural systems into their language learning. (WBEZ/Gabriel Spitzer)"></div><p>First off, this episode is sort of a goodbye. I will be departing my beloved WBEZ shortly to strike out for new adventures. I’ll include my weepy valedictory at the bottom of this post. But the story this week is important, so before your attention wanders …</p><p>As kids, we usually learn about nature from a decidedly human point of view. The world exists in relation to us. People are the stars in this scenario: We are Hamlet, while nature is like Denmark – the place where we happen to be. The conventional wisdom has been that this is a universal way the mind develops its awareness of the natural world.<!--break--></p><p>But an eclectic group of researchers are challenging that. The team is made up of psychologists from Northwestern University, and researchers from the Menominee Reservation and the American Indian Center of Chicago. They started looking carefully at the way Native and non-Native children come to learn about nature. They found some distinctive differences.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/Richard%20falls_0.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="Richard Annamitta is hoping to restore Keshena Falls to the state it was in when his ancestors saw it. (WBEZ/Gabriel Spitzer)"></div><p>Namely, Native kids tend not to have that anthropocentric view in the early years. They come to see the biological world in terms of relationships and connections – what psychologists call “systems-level thinking.” Non-Native kids, on the other hand, generally think more in hierarchical categories like taxonomy – kingdom, phylum, species, etc. So the human-centered learning may not be universal after all, but instead flavored by the culture we grow up in.</p><p>This goes deeper than just having different beliefs. The scientists say those distinctive worldviews actually change the way we think, learn and reason. Over the last decade or so, the team has been designing experiments to tease out the ramifications of that change. It has major consequences for education, an<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/Bear%20clan_0.jpg" style="float: left; width: 240px; height: 320px; " title="This Bear Clan figure demonstrates how the Menominee see humans and animals as connected. (WBEZ/Gabriel Spitzer)">d might (this is my speculation!) influence our attitudes about the environment.</p><p>So, this will be my final episode of Clever Apes. We are hopeful that it will continue in some form, so you may not have heard the last of WBEZ’s science experiment. Creating this series has been a rare privilege – I have had one of the greatest gigs in media. My deepest gratitude goes to my editor Cate Cahan, whose gusto and keen mind have long inspired me. Michael De Bonis has been a fantastic collaborator, friend and co-conspirator, without whom the Apes would be far less clever. And Sally Eisele has shown great vision (or folly) in supporting this weird project from the get-go.</p><p>Thank you for sticking with us, and of course you can still subscribe to our <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-clever-apes/id379051174" target="_blank" title="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast">podcast</a>, follow us on&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/cleverapes" target="_blank" title="http://twitter.com/#!/cleverapes">Twitter</a>, and find us on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412" target="_blank" title="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412">Facebook</a>.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/Megan%20murals_0.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Megan Bang helped incorporate systems-level thinking into the design of an early education classroom. (WBEZ/Gabriel Spitzer)"></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 10:16:50 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/clever-apes/2012-04/clever-apes-29-nature-and-human-nature-97867 Revision Street: Vanessa Roanhorse (IV) http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-vanessa-roanhorse-iv <p><p>I have to curb my small talk when I go home, <em>Vanessa explains</em>. It&rsquo;s not something people do. The Navajo people are straight-to-the-point kind of people. They don&rsquo;t dillydally around conversation.</p><p><em>I&rsquo;ve been talking to her for several hours about growing up on the rez and living now in the drastically different urban environment of Chicago. And what it might take to go back.</em></p><p>When I go home I just sound like an idiot. It just sounds like I&rsquo;m talking to hear my voice and I can see people shutting down on me. I&rsquo;m better now than when I first used to go home. I thought they would enjoy my stories but it was more like, You&rsquo;re talking senseless stuff, I don&rsquo;t even know what you&rsquo;re talking about: I don&rsquo;t know who these people are, I don&rsquo;t know what the point of the story is&hellip;</p><p>Part of it is definitely the urban environment way in which I operate. I learned a lot of these nuances of speaking on the East Coast, so there is a little bit of a quickness and there&rsquo;s a lot of sarcasm. It&rsquo;s definitely an urban way of thinking: you push it, you push everything. Everything&rsquo;s got to be on a certain timeframe. People can&rsquo;t be stagnant. People in the city feel like, if I take morning off, I better do something in the afternoon because I&rsquo;ve just wasted a full day. No one knows how to just enjoy something and you can&rsquo;t just arrive when you feel like it. There&rsquo;s this pace and I think that has a lot to do with the way you think.</p><p>Back home it&rsquo;s not like that. People actually take time to&mdash;if there were roses, they would smell them. You&rsquo;ll be talking to someone [<em>laughs</em>] and they&rsquo;ll just stop talking and look off into the distance. They&rsquo;ve just decided to take a moment, you know. You&rsquo;re like, alright. I don&rsquo;t know if I should get up and leave you to your moment [laughs] or if I should keep talking or what should I do. And then they&rsquo;ll slowly look over, and you&rsquo;re like, Are you bored with me? But it has nothing to do with you. It&rsquo;s that they&rsquo;ve decided to process, or they had a thought come into their head, and they&rsquo;re working it through.</p><p>I live in this really stupid in-between. When I volunteer at the American Indian Center here in Chicago, or I try and work with them, I really enjoy everyone I meet but it&rsquo;s like we&rsquo;re in totally different spaces. I am this liberal, artsy, hippie chick who has traveled and is really interested in world music and hip-hop [<em>laughs</em>]. But I meet another Navajo and they&rsquo;re working steel, and they only hang out with other Natives and we have no common interest besides the fact that we share a culture. That&rsquo;s fun for a little while but we don&rsquo;t have anything else in common. This is the part that blows my mind. I feel bad about it, but it&rsquo;s hard to meet other Navajos with the same interests. I can&rsquo;t find them. Especially in the city. But because I&rsquo;ve been away from home for so long, because I do talk differently and because my interests are different, I&rsquo;m still an outsider. I&rsquo;m still kind of that apple. Red on the outside, white on the inside. It doesn&rsquo;t help that I&rsquo;m marrying a giant, six-foot-four German man. [<em>Laughs</em>.]</p><p>Seriously, I was so nervous the first time he was coming out with me because I didn&rsquo;t know what the family was gonna think. How is he gonna react to all these people scrutinizing him? Navajos are notorious teasers. Once you get past the initial you&rsquo;re-a-stranger-danger kind of thing, they&rsquo;ll just pick on you. You have to be able to roll with it because if you can, you totally earn people&rsquo;s respect. I was really nervous, &lsquo;cause we were gonna have a simple barbeque at my parent&rsquo;s house and 40 people rolled on in. It&rsquo;s a simple barbeque that&rsquo;s not my entire family&mdash;you know, my entire family is over a 100-something plus people and that&rsquo;s just my mom&rsquo;s side&mdash;this is only my dad&rsquo;s side. But everyone absolutely loves him. I think it&rsquo;s because Blaine is a real down to earth dude who can talk about anything. He&rsquo;s culturally sensitive and aware and he knows not to speak out of turn, he knows how to treat someone who&rsquo;s older than he is.</p><p>Blaine is five years younger than me. I fought tooth and nail not to get involved with him. I was on the cusp of 30, and he was just so young. But he stuck it out. It look six months and a fight before I realized that he was my boyfriend. He&rsquo;s definitely changed my life in really neat ways. I&rsquo;m talking about getting married and having babies. Before him that wasn&rsquo;t on the menu. I never thought that was my cup of tea. I just wanted to be the awesome aunt who wore muumuus and big earring and took the kids to weird performances.</p><p>That was who I was gonna be. The muumuus and the cheap plastic jewelry, like Mrs. Roper, the Three&rsquo;s Company wife. [<em>Laughs</em>.]&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 29 Nov 2010 20:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-vanessa-roanhorse-iv