The weekend of July 16th marked the 7th Annual National Gathering of American Indian Veterans in Wheaton, IL. This event welcomes all veterans, families, and members of the public; this year, members of the Chicago-area Maori community were featured performers.
As part of the festivities, Native American veterans, Maori friends, and other visitors were welcomed onto the Field’s marae in a powhiri led by local Maori and joined by Museum staff. The marae continues to be a place of gathering and cultural exchange for both visitors and residents of Chicago; veterans were previously honored there as part of 2019’s D-Day Warriors exhibition.
Following lunch and songs on the marae, ten of the guests visited the Museum’s collections storage spaces for a tour and to view Maori taonga, accompanied by museum staff Julia Kennedy and Janet Hong.