March 12, 2009

Quilters will mark Native American experience

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Area residents may join in creating a quilt destined for display in the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

There are three quilting workshops to choose from (or come to all three), each running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 18-21 in the University Museum Education Center in Faner Hall. The workshops are free. Call to register at 618/687-1731, ext. 109 or 618/687-1731, ext. 102.

Participants will use fabric appliqué to create a quilt commemorating the Native American experience in our region. The finished quilt will be on display at University Museum and will join the traveling exhibit, “Mapping the Trail of Tears in Southern Illinois.” The mapping exhibit is at the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro through April 19.

Shawnee National Forest archaeologist Mary McCorvie leads the workshop. McCorvie is co-author of several publications with archaeologist Mark Wagner of SIUC’s Center for Archaeological Investigation. The two have teamed up to research Native American rock art in Illinois and river pirates operating on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Among her other scholarly pursuits, McCorvie also researches at a site in Miller Grove, and published with the African Diaspora Archaeology Network. She is president-elect of the Illinois Archaeological Survey.

The quilting workshop is part of area events marking the grant-funded “We Shall Remain” project on WSIU and other regional partners of PBS and WGBH Boston. The “American Experience” broadcast of the five-part “We Shall Remain” series shows on WSIU-TV at 8 p.m. on Mondays beginning April 13.

WSIU notes that the goal of the series and area events “is to deepen public understanding of Native history and culture, with a special emphasis on our region’s connection to the Trail of Tears, the path taken by the Cherokee and other Native peoples during their federally enforced migration from the southeastern United States to Oklahoma.”

To learn more, visit and click on the “We Shall Remain” spotlight, or contact Vickie Devenport at 618/453-6148 or at

University Museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and is closed Monday and when the University is closed. There is no admission fee, but donations are always welcome. Visit for information about exhibits and events.