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Artist in Residence Program

Preserving Potawatomi Culture through Quillwork at Northwestern University

2023-2024 Artist in Residence: Madelene Big Bear (Bodwéwadmi)
April 1st 2024 through April 14th 2024 

madeline-website-graphic.pngJoin us to welcome Madalene Big Bear!

Madalene is a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Nation and a culture bearer who enjoys sharing her knowledge in many forms, including stories. Although entertaining, storytelling is also an important way to convey customs, language, history, and identity to descendants and those who are invited to listen. Madalene is also a respected Pokagon culture keeper. A talented professional and artist, she often teaches others about indigenous culture. Her areas of expertise include material culture, contemporary life ways, culinary traditions, art, and storytelling.



Read more about Madelene's residency

 View the schedule here 

RSVP for all events here 

Potawatomi Confederacy Panel Discussion: Language, Culture, Historic Preservation and Leadership!

Saturday April 6th | 10am - 1pm

Bodwewadmik, who live and work to strengthen the Nation in treaty removed homeland territory, will give an update to the Chicago community. A moderated panel discussion will follow. Invited guests are:

  • Corinne Kasper, (Pokagon Band) Linguist PhD student, Univ of Chicago 
  • Lakota Hobia, (Citizen Band) THPO Director Gun Lake
  • Gina Roxas, (Prairie Band), Executive Director, Trickster Cultural Center
  • Raphael Wahwassuck, Tribal Council Member, Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation
You can read presenter bios by clicking here

Lunch will be provided!


Wildcat Room 101 (Floor 1)

Norris University Center
1999 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

Campus parking is free on Saturday 

Directions to Norris University Center 

Quill Harvesting Teaching with Jacqulyn Robinson

Tuesday April 2nd & Wednesday April 3rd | 10 am

When: Tuesday April 2nd at 10 am & Wednesday April 3rd at 10 am

Where: Outside the CNAIR House at 515 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208

What: Guest Presenter, Jacqulyn Robinson (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) will demonstrate harvesting quills from green hides.

Jacqulyn, a proud member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, resides in Bahweting (Sault Ste. Marie) and is rooted in the Fish Clan of Bootaagani-minising (Drummond Island). Her journey through life's challenges led her to achieve a master’s degree in resilience and determination. As a passionate community advocate, Jacqulyn is deeply committed to preserving and sharing traditional arts and knowledge. She recognized the need for safe spaces for indigenous voices and established the Ozhitoodaa (Let's Create) Craft Circle, fostering unity and cultural exchange.In her leisure time, Jacqulyn immerses herself in beadwork, quillwork, sewing, and promoting food sovereignty through plant-based learning. Her culinary talents extend beyond personal enjoyment as she generously prepares feasts and volunteers to mentor youth, ensuring the passage of cultural heritage to future generations. Through her leadership and dedication, Jacqulyn Robinson enriches her community and leaves a lasting impact on those around her.

About the Indigenous Artist in Residence Program


The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) is Northwestern University’s primary institutional space dedicated to advancing scholarship, teaching, learning, and artistic or cultural practices related to Native American and Indigenous communities, priorities, histories, and lifeways. The Center operates as a hub for multi-disciplinary, collaborative work informed by and responsive to Native American and Indigenous nations, communities, and organizations. We foster an innovative and Indigenous-centered intellectual space that is open to multiple modes of engagement for faculty, students, staff, and community members. CNAIR commits to developing and promoting reciprocal and sovereignty-affirming relationships and partnerships with Native American and Indigenous communities.

Each year, we support an artist and/or elder in residence with work that aligns with our mission, vision, and values to further support the interdisciplinary work CNAIR is supporting. The artist/elder in residence program seeks to connect the Northwestern community with Native and Indigenous knowledge sharers (elders, artists, leaders, etc.).We believe that this program helps build community connections and also allows students and the broader community to learn more about the work of Native and Indigenous knowledge sharers. 

The program is open to collaboration with partner organizations as well as artists/elders of various disciplines, community leaders, scholars, and tribal leaders/legislators. We also seek to lift individuals who could expand people’s perspectives of knowledge sharers, including individuals who hold multiple identities and/or are also part of underrepresented communities (i.e. Black, Two-Spirit, 2SLGBTQIA+, young, etc.). Some areas of interest of our programming committee for the next few years include: Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), Tribal Nations, and community organizations that have a Native or Indigenous focus. 

Collaborating partner organizations or participants in the elder/artist in residence program are selected and invited by the CNAIR programming circle. If you are interested in nominating an artist, elder, or partner organization please contact