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Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium

Evanston Public Library 1703 Orrington Ave. Evanston, IL 60201 Community Meeting Room (107)

Author Sharon Hoogstraten will present her new book, with an additional focus on Presidents’ Day and the impact of federal policy on indigenous peoples. Books will be available for purchase.

Register here.

Sharon Hoogstraten, a descendant of Archange Ouilmette, Citizen Potawatomi, and photographer, will present her book, Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium.  Following in the footsteps of not only her ancestors, but also Frank R. Grover, who presented a brief history of the Ouilmette Reservation to the Evanston Historical Society in 1908, Sharon will share the twelve-year adventure that culminated with this book. Dancing for Our Tribe focuses on regalia, and the cultural exploration of contemporary Potawatomi people. While reflecting deeply on the ancestors, these Native dancers are both preserving and evolving ceremonial garments echoing their own stories while inspiring the seven generations going forward. These are not ‘costumes’, and unlike street clothes, each dancer knows exactly where their clothing comes from and what it means. Every portrait is accompanied by a personal statement that references those inspirations, be it ancestral, clan, birth order, gift, or an important event in their lives.

Hoogstraten’s talk will focus on the journey, content and construction of the book…sprinkled with collected anecdotal stories of Indigenous peoples seldom mentioned on Presidents’ Day.  Copies of Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium will be available for purchase at this event.

Artist’s biography:

Professional photographer Sharon Hoogstraten spent a decade portraying contemporary Potawatomis in regalia and as an unexpected dividend, discovered her own roots. A Michigan native, she traveled to Chicago for graduate study and stayed as a resident—having no clue that she was walking in the footsteps of her Potawatomi grandmother, Archange Ouilmette.  Her book, Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium, is now available from the University of Oklahoma Press. A career photographer, Hoogstraten previously published Green City Market: A Song of Thanks—a pictorial retrospective of the ground-breaking farmers market that boosted Chicago’s culinary reputation as a nationally acclaimed food destination.