Stereotypes that impact Native peoples, ranging from mascots and casinos to addiction and treaty rights, will be examined in an exhibit that opens Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville.
“Deconstructing Stereotypes: Top Ten Truths Exhibition” can be viewed from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 6.
The exhibit is on loan from the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston. To create the exhibition content, Mitchell Museum surveyed Native American and Indigenous Canadian peoples to find out the top 10 stereotypes that impact their lives.
The exhibition is a good fit for Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Isle a la Cache Museum, which features many programs on Native American history, said Tina Riley, the site’s facility supervisor. During those programs, it is common for people to have the misconception that Native peoples are only from the past, she said.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “That is one of the reasons we wanted to bring this exhibit to Isle a la Cache. Hosting this exhibit is one way we can acknowledge some of the challenges Native peoples in North America face today and help non-Native people better understand those challenges,” she said.
The exhibit includes factual information and quotes from Native leaders and citizens, as well as photos. Isle a la Cache has added some additional informational panels as well as some complementary displays of Native artifacts and related materials, including videos.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibit panels will be spread throughout the museum galleries, providing plenty of space for social distancing. “As always, we encourage visitors to wear masks and be respectful of others’ personal space,” Riley said.
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.