Community Gardening & Restoration

Spring is right around the corner and, here at The American Indian Center, we will be hosting meetings during Winter Programming every Thursday night from 5-7pm to discuss and plan management of open green spaces. We’re hoping to help community members start their own gardens this spring, get community more involved with our award winning medicine garden, continue restoration work at Dunning Read Conservation area, as well as starting our new heritage garden project located on the public right-of-way along the west side of the Metra/Union Pacific railroad embankment on Ravenswood Ave., between Wilson Ave. to the north and Sunnyside Ave. to the south.

For more information: contact Fawn Pochel at or

Chi-Nations Youth Group Spring Break trip to Red Lake, MN

Last March, five youth and 2 advisors took a 14 hour car ride to Red Lake Minnesota for a four day trip to learn how the youth in Red Lake fish, hunt and snare. We learned a lot about traditional harvesting, developed leadership skills, and shared similar experiences between the urban and reservation Native youth. We had first time experiences like seeing tons of stars, eagles soaring, a beaver dam, discovering a muskrat home, and ice fishing. We were unable to successfully snare or trap muskrats or beavers, but we caught plenty of fish for dinner, we even learned how to clean fish. We had discussions of how under the cement and buildings Chicago might look like Red Lake. The Ojibwe people of Red Lake are dealing with some of the same issues the rest of Indian country is like drugs, violence, loss of traditions and environmental issues like pipelines. We visited the Enbridge pipeline blockade and discussed the concerns of the people and further understood why these issues are a concern for all of us. We became a cohesive team and bonded with the Red Lake youth. In April, the Red Lake youth group came down to Chicago to visit and it was the firsttime some of them have been off the reservation. On March 8th, 2014the Red Lake Youth Group is coming back to Chicago with traditionally harvested walleye, wild rice, and blueberries to host a fundraising dinner. We have a goal of fundraising $3,500 in order to support 10 youth and 3 advisors to travel to Red Lake and continue learning leadership skills and thinking about food sovereignty.


For more information about the trip to Red Lake or to find out how you can support the Chi-Nations youth group, email Janie Pochel or