Event—Public Programming

Getting Around on the Great Lakes Frontier: Indigenous Technology, Environmental Knowledge, and the Chicago Portage

When Europeans arrived in the Great Lakes, they marveled at waterways that made up the heart of the continent. Indigenous peoples had perfected canoe transportation in the region, and Europeans worked to utilize such Indigenous modes of movement for the purposes of trade, travel, and colonization from early contact forward. In his talk, Nelson will explore the geographic and environmental knowledge needed to get around on the Great Lakes frontier, showing how both Native peoples and Europeans harnessed the region's distinct geography and resources to create a highly mobile world at places like the Chicago portage.