Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories

Category: Exhibitions

Exhibition Summary

Included with Basic admission

All ages

Alert

Included with Basic admission

All ages

Experience stories told by Native people of self-determination, resilience, continuity, and the future.

Hear from Native American and Indigenous people as they tell their own stories—through words, music, dance, and art.

Understand the historical significance of items in the Field’s collection, like traditional regalia and pottery. Immerse yourself in works by contemporary Native artists, including Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) raised beadwork from Karen Ann Hoffman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and flute music from Frank Waln of the Sicangu Lakota.

In Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories, we invite you to connect with diverse Native stories and the individuals who share them. Dive deeply into current issues, like threats to Native land and the rights of tribal nations to govern themselves. Celebrate the thriving, modern cultures of today’s Native communities.

A large screen playing a video of a Native person singing into a microphone.

Explore timely stories featured in rotating galleries.

Exhibition highlights: 

  • Hear stories of resilience from the Chicago Native community

  • Get a close look at California basketry traditions passed on across generations

  • Experience music-making through the eyes of a young Lakota hip hop artist

  • Follow the process of Meskwaki efforts to revitalize heirloom and ancestral plants  

  • Delve into the history and importance of Chaco Canyon 

  • Visit the Pawnee Earth Lodge in a new context

A new approach to telling—and listening to—Native stories

Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories is a new permanent exhibition at the Field. It replaces and re-examines the previous Native North America Hall that existed in this space for many years, which was created without the input of Native people themselves.

For Native visitors, I also hope there is an instant connection. I hope they see themselves, see their relatives, their grandparents, and aunties and uncles. For non-Native visitors, we've been working to make this an immersive experience that allows them to come into our home—learning from us, not just about us.

Debra Yepa-Peppan (Jemez Pueblo/Korean), Community Engagement Coordinator for the project

The Field acknowledges that it’s built on Native land. We recognize that the region we now call Chicago was the traditional homelands of many Indigenous nations, and remains home to diverse Native people today. For this reason, one section of Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories will always focus on Chicago’s Native community. Meanwhile, other galleries will rotate over the years to share new stories, experiences, and perspectives from across the United States and Canada.

Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories was created with the guidance of an advisory council of 11 Native American scholars and museum professionals, and in partnership with 130 collaborators representing over 105 Tribes. We seek to create a space for Native people from Chicago and across the United States and Canada to share their experiences in their own voices.

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