This November 13, 2018 program is hosted by the BHHA and will begin at 7 p.m. at the Dairy Building. It is free and open to the public.
Imagine sitting around a campfire with Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kiuk-kiuk, Black Hawk, listening to the stories of creation and the legends of his grandfathers. Storyteller and historian Brian “Fox” Ellis begins the program with his family’s connection to the Trail of Tears and the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from their ancestral homeland. Using this personal history and a deep knowledge of Native American history this intimate story builds a bridge, bringing the audience on a journey back into those dark days of American History with both humor and real insight, drawing strength from the resilience of the people. The audience is then lead down the path through time to an encounter with Black Hawk’s Band on the eve of the battle. Two-thirds of the show is drawn directly from Black Hawk’s Autobiography. Fox then becomes the reporter who transcribed and published Black Hawk’s life story. Weaving true history with folklore to create a tapestry of symbolic language he draws the audience into the world view of this respected leader of his people. There are traditional chants and drumming songs, including a chance for the audience to participate in a few social dances, celebrate the First Nations of Illinois, and see the world through Native eyes. This program is part of a larger tour exploring Illinois Bicentennial from an American Indian perspective. It is funded by a the Illinois Humanities Council as part of their Forgetten Illinois Stories.