Loading Events

« All Events

The Urban Indian Relocation Program 60 Years Later

November 30 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST

Starting in 1952, after the Urban Indian Relocation Act of 1948, the United States Government initiated the Urban Indian Relocation Program, designed to move Native Americans off reservations to seven major urban cities, including Chicago. Under this policy, the government intended to assimilate Native Americans residing on rural reservation lands into the white, American mainstream society. From 1952 into the 1970s, 100,000’s Native people and their families moved to cities where they struggled to adjust to life in a metropolis and faced unemployment, low-end jobs, discrimination, homesickness, and the loss of traditional cultural support.

The urban relocation program changed the face of cities and Native American cultures, and its effects are still with us in Cook County. During this discussion, Menominee/Oneida elder Bernadine Vigue will share her family’s move from the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin to Chicago and Gary, Indiana, in 1952 under the federal relocation program. Key leaders of Chicago’s Indigenous community, Andrew Johnson and Shelly Tucciarelli will discuss the unintended consequences that continue to impact the region today and how their work in economic development and equitable housing aims to improve the well-being of Chicago’s Native community.


This is a hybrid in-person and virtual event. For all program information and to register to attend, visit https://www.ilhumanities.org/events/the-urban-indian-relocation-program-60-years-later/


Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
3001 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website