A Road Scholar Program by Brian "Fox" Ellis
Imagine sitting around a campfire with Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kiuk-kiuk, Black Hawk, listening to the stories of creation and the legends of his grandfathers.
Storyteller and historian Brian "Fox" Ellis begins the program with his own family’s connection to the Trail of Tears and the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from their ancestral homeland. Using this personal history and a deep knowledge of Native American history this intimate story builds a bridge, bringing the audience on a journey back into those dark days of American History with both humor and real insight, drawing strength from the resilience of the people.
The audience is then lead down the path through time to an encounter with Black Hawk’s Band on the eve of the battle. Two-thirds of the show is drawn directly from Black Hawk’s Autobiography. Weaving true history with folklore to create a tapestry of symbolic language he draws the audience into the world view of this respected leader of his people.
There are traditional chants and drumming songs, including a chance for the audience to participate in a few social dances, celebrate the First Nations of Illinois, and see the world through Native eyes.