The land we call McLean County is the ancestral land of many Native groups, beginning with the Paleoindians 12,000 years ago, and most recently Algonquin-speaking groups, including the Kickapoo, who were forced west from this area in the 1830s. Other groups in this area include (but are not limited to) the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascouten, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Lenape, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were and are the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; and these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.
This statement was drafted in collaboration with Lester Randall, Tribal Chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, and Nichole Boyd, Director of the Native American House at UIUC.
In addition to the exhibit websites below, you can take a virtual walk through the exhibits here. Throughout the galleries you will see dots that connect you back to this website, and within this website you will find links out to view objects in the virtual exhibit. Enjoy!
This exciting 5,000-square-foot exhibit in four galleries explores the experience of living, working, farming, and creating community in McLean County. These exhibits are brought to life through the objects local residents used in day-to-day life, beautiful imagery, and the true-life stories of the diverse people who lived here and made McLean County a thriving community.