“Black Hawk’s View of Illinois History” Features Brian Fox Ellis on November 8 in Tiskilwa

Imagine sitting around a campfire with Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kiuk-kiuk), listening to stories of creation and legends of his grandfathers. The Tiskilwa Historical Society is inviting the community to do just that on Monday evening, November 8, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Tiskilwa’s Museum on Main.


Storyteller and historian Brian “Fox” Ellis begins the program with his 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 his deep knowledge of Native American history, this intimate story builds a bridge to span the centuries. Brian takes the audience on a journey back into those sometimes-forgotten days dark of American history with both real insight and even some humor, drawing strength from the resilience of his people.

Portraying “Gomo” on his journey through time, historian and storyteller Brian Fox Ellis will present “Black Hawk’s View of Illinois History” at Tiskilwa’s Museum on Main at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8.

The audience is then led down the path through time to an encounter with Black Hawk’s band on the eve of the battle. Two-thirds of the program is drawn directly from Black Hawk’s autobiography. Weaving facts with folklore to create a tapestry of symbolic language, Brian 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.


Brian is a participant in the Illinois Humanities Council’s “Road Scholar” program, and his appearance in Tiskilwa is supported through a grant from the IHC. In accordance with health and safety directives, audience members are encouraged to wear facial coverings and/or practice social distancing. The program is free and open to the public.

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