SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) – A Schaumburg art gallery is hosting the Stanley Cup as part of a special event on Saturday, but the attention it’s getting is serving another important purpose: educating visitors about Native American culture.
WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports the Trickster Art Gallery is the only arts institution in Illinois owned and operated by Native Americans, and has a very special relationship with the Blackhawks.
“Our goal is to help explain some of the history behind the logo itself – the Indian head, the Chief Blackhawk representation,” said Joe Podlasak, the gallery’s chief operating officer.
He said, even though some Native Americans have been displeased with the use of tribal names for team mascots, the gallery’s connection to the Blackhawks is different.
“You know, the Hollywood image that kind of feeds into this, we want to break those stereotypical processes,” he said. “It’s really about the unique approach that they’ve taken, and a cultural education understanding.”
Podlasek said the Blackhawks organization has been nothing but respectful to the team’s Native American name.
“They’ve had a genuine relationship with me for the last four years, and the management and the owners are just fabulous about caring and understanding what the important issues are,” he said.
Podlasek said the team regularly honors Native American military veterans on the ice during the National Anthem, “to remember the importance of the first people of these lands.”
The Stanley Cup will be on display at the gallery from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, along with a photo exhibit featuring 40 pictures of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Blackhawks’ victory parade.
The Cup also made a visit to the gallery following the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship, drawing 1,500 fans to get their picture taken with the trophy. Podlasek said the gallery expects a similar turnout this time.