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The work that went into making this website and resource was truly a team effort. An institution-led, community-engaged collaboration between the American Indian Association of Illinois and Northwestern University, this work was also generously funded by the he Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Collections as Data: Part to Whole initiative.


Project Team

Dorene P. Wiese
White Earth Ojibwe, Mississippi Band
President, American Indian Association of Illinois and President, NAES, Inc.

Melanie J. Cloud
Leech Lake Ojibwe, Band of Pillager
Director of Educational Development, American Indian Association of Illinois

Allison Conner
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Former Graduate Student, Northwestern University

Kelly Wisecup
Associate Professor of English and Co-director, Center for Native American & Indigenous Research, Northwestern University

Josh Honn
English & Digital Humanities Librarian and Faculty Affiliate, Center for Native American & Indigenous Research, Northwestern University

John Dorr
Head, McCormick Library, Northwestern University Libraries



We would like to thank the following people for their time, energy, stories, and meaningful collaboration and impact on this project. This section will be updated as the project evolves into the future.
To the visionaries, leaders, teachers, students and their relations who made NAES College possible, we thank you and honor you.
To the many members of the Native American and Indigenous communities in Chicago and beyond who supported the project, attended events, shared stories, and continue to live out and pass on the legacies of NAES College, we thank you and honor you.
To the American Indian Association of Illinois who has lovingly cared for the NAES College archives all of these years, and whose Native Scholars youth program and many other community-based actions carry on the legacy of NAES College. We would especially like to thank the students of the Native Scholars program for all of their help with the archives and events.
To the Center for Native American & Indigenous Research at Northwestern University for creating a thriving community on campus and beyond that helped us learn, build connections, and grow this project in important ways.
To the many staff at Northwestern University Libraries who supported in various ways such as digitization, preservation, data, and grant management, including Dan Zellner, Tom O’Connell, Katie Risseuw, Jen Young, Jackie Kalan, Mary Brand, and undergraduate students Karen Adjei, Eli Cohen, Tristan Jung, Connor Hansen, Annabelle Howell, and Jasmin Ramirez.
To the Collections as Data team for their belief in and tireless support of this project, including Thomas Padilla, Laurie Allen, Hannah Scates Kettler, Stewart Varner, Yasmeen Shorish, all of the amazing folks of Part to Whole: Cohort 1.
To Brian Carpenter, Curator of Native American Materials at the American Philosophical Society, for meeting with us and sharing invaluable experience and insights.
To the visitors of this website who have taken the time to look, listen, and share—

Rights & Ethics

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this website is from the NAES College Collection and has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. We also acknowledge that not all voices are able to be included in this resource and therefore have also assigned a Traditional Knowledge Community Voice label. Furthermore, we ask that any sharing of the content on this website be done ethically, centering the care of and concern for the many people, communities, tribes, nations, and organizations represented as part of NAES College’s history and continuing presence and legacy. 

Our work was guided by the Collections as Data: Part to Whole Code of Conduct which states: “All project activity, both in person and online, aims to foster a welcoming and inclusive experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, nationality, or political beliefs. Harassment of participants will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes any behavior that participants find intimidating, hostile or offensive. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.”


Land Acknowledgement

The work of this project was mainly done in Chicago which sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. It was also a site of trade, travel, gathering and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes and is still home to over 100,000 tribal members in the state of Illinois.



For more information, questions, or to get involved, please visit the contact page

NAES College
Resources | Contact

American Indian Association of Illinois
1650 W Foster Ave Chicago, IL 60640
Website | Email | (773) 338-8320