Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

A Tour of Indigenous Northwestern

Last month, we have shared stories celebrating Native American Heritage Month. We have one more story that showcases an Indigenous project that Patty Loew, a Bad River Tribal Member, initiated with her students at Northwestern University.
A Tour of Indigenous Northwestern
When Professor Patty Loew, codirector of Northwestern’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, first came to campus in 2016, she says, “The thing I heard over and over from Native people in the community – faculty, staff, students – was, ‘We feel invisible.’”
Loew is an award-winning author, documentary producer, and digital storyteller in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. So to shine a light on Native Americans and the places, practices, and historical events that relate to them, she enlisted undergraduate students in her media history course to help create a multimedia Indigenous Tour of Northwestern.

Patty Loew and her students created a multimedia tour that highlights Native American connections to Northwestern. Photo by Northwestern Alumni Association.

Built with the StoryMap JS tool created by Medill’s Knight Lab, the virtual tour makes Indigenous connections to campus visible through writing, photos, video, maps, and links to additional online resources.
At the multimedia tour’s public launch, Loew credited her partners in the project and student activists who have worked to raise awareness of Native American experiences. In 2013, students began calling on the University to acknowledge the role of John Evans, one of Northwestern’s founders, in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. (A detailed timeline from the tour tells the story.)
Students, Loew said, “laid the foundation for all the really positive steps that Northwestern has taken since then,” from the creation of a new undergraduate minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies to support for faculty research, community partnerships, and more.