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Education

Monthly AIC ZOOM Bookclub 

AIC’s monthly book club will take place on the first Tuesday of every month. In lieu of in-person gatherings, we are working on a commonplace of gathering online. Since stories are an integral part of who we are as First Nations people we believe that a monthly bookclub was an ideal place to start. Since our community cannot gather around to tell stories as we did in the past and look forward to doing in the future we are looking at First Nations people who are using other methods to record their stories. Each month we will pick a new book from a First Nations writer to read and look forward to our virtual gathers. 

Little One’s Story Time 

Little One’s Story Time is designed for families to utilize children’s literature to develop emotional intelligence and creativity within our youngest community members. As we transition to more online programming the American Indian Center Staff would like to share some of our favorite children’s books. To supplement our stories we have chosen a few at-home activities for families to engage with. 

Our goals are to jump-start early childhood literacy, support the cultural vitality and academic achievement of members of the Native American community, and expose First Nations youth to positive representation of First Nations Peoples that disrupt cycles of misrepresentation and under-representation of First Nations cultures. 

We’re spotlighting First Nation Authored books but may also include a few books from local authors who spotlight marginalized and underrepresented groups, as well. 

Extension Activities Link: 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sVQ5-4eE2G-_v09kH8vAZQnYfBbINkkS?usp=sharing

Indigenous Science Days 

ISD are monthly tours that activate common places of gathering across the city of Chicago between March and October of every year. Indigenous Science Days take place across different outdoor sites across Chicago. Participants will be able to partake in culturally relevant narrative lead activities as part of our dedication to first voice programming. Each tour challenges participants to think critically about Chicago’s Indigenous landscapes and history to create personal connections to the land. By emphasizing shared experiences across cultures, our tours also work toward the creation of environmental awareness, sustainable cross-community relationships, cultural experiences, and environmental recreation.

Due to COVID-19, we have canceled Indigenous Science Days through the end of the year. We hope to see you all in 2021 and encourage folx to continue to activate outdoor spaces 

Chicago Inter-tribal Youth Program (Formerly Positive Paths) 

C.I.T.Y is an innovative approach to re-brand what it means to be an Urban Native. By creating a brave space for Native Youth who reside in the Chicagoland area we hope to help our youth to become the change-makers of tomorrow by reclaiming their own narratives and developing pathways for healthy sustainable lifestyles. 

After School Schedule (In-person gathers suspended until further notice) Monday through Thursday – 3:30 to 6:00 pm 

Selected Holidays – 9:00am to 3:00pm 

Six-week summer program – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm 

Occasionally will meet on weekends for special events 

Programming 

During these times we provide a safe, structured environment focused on cultural growth, positive identity development, and leadership to succeed within our urban environment, Indian country, and society at large. 

CITY programming includes: 

  1. literacy and leadership,
  2. culturally based science learning,
  3. wellness,
  4. revitalizing tribal and intertribal traditions,
  5. adventure education,
  6. arts, and
  7. community service.

We are diligently working on providing an alternative structure for social distance instruction please stay on the look out for updates. 

First Nations Garden 

Alderman Carlos Rosa of the 35th Ward, Chi-Nations Youth Council, Neighborspace, and the American Indian Center are proud to partner on the First Nations Community Garden which opened in the Spring of 2019. 

The mission of the First Nations Community Garden is to provide a healing space for the Intertribal Native Community of Chicago, to promote public knowledge and appreciation of Chicago’s Indigenous landscape, native plants, gardens, and the environment. 

Our Shared vision is to create a preeminent cultural and educational hub within the Albany Park Neighborhood. 

Due to COVID-19 activities and community days are limited to the public. We look forward to having public gatherings in 2021. 

Angie Decorah Medicinal Garden 

Angie Decorah was a founding member of the American Indian Center of Chicago and dedicated herself to the betterment of the American Indian Community. Angie encouraged generations of “Urban Indians” to reclaim our traditional medicines here in Chicago and was one of the main inspirations of the Medicinal Garden at the AIC’s long time home 1630 W. Wilson. She encouraged many to reconnect with the ancestral teachings of the land and that seed continues to grow within our community and within the work of the Education Department. 

Currently, our onsite garden has 23 varieties of Native plants that are all medicinal or ceremonial including Sage, Sweetgrass, Tobacco, and Cedar.