Chicago Blackhawks Charities is proud to create a long-term partnership with the American Indian Center and has pledged through its community fund to assist the native population in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
This page expresses a genuine partnership and is a tool to help educate the larger community and fan base by sharing Native American culture, along with the activities and programs held in conjunction with the AIC. If you would like to learn more, engage or support the American Indian Center of Chicago, the oldest urban Indian Center in the country, please visit aic-chicago.org.
Black Hawk: American Indian Warrior and Veteran of his People Black Hawk the Man, the legend: (1767 – October 3, 1838) was a real American historical figure - a member of the Sauk and Fox Tribe of Illinois. He was a leader and warrior of the Sauk and Fox, however, not one of the Sauk's hereditary civil chiefs. His status came from leading young men into battles during the Black Hawk War of 1832.
Born near Rock Island, Illinois, the future war chief grew up during the period of Spanish ascendancy in the Mississippi Valley. Hostile to American fur traders who manned the trading posts at St. Louis when the United States took over that area in 1804, he refused to recognize the Treaty of St. Louis, in which Sauk and Fox tribes relinquished their claim to all lands east of the Mississippi.
During the War of 1812, Black Hawk (whose Indian name was Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak) fought for the British under the leadership of the famous Tecumseh. Continuing to brood over the injustice of the Treaty of St. Louis, he attempted, between 1816 and 1829, to enlist. In 1832 he led two hundred warriors and their families back across the Mississippi. Disappointed when no help was offered by neighboring tribes, he was on the verge of seeking a truce precipitating the Black Hawk War.
On August 2, 1832, the Indians were overwhelmed at Bad Axe River, Wisconsin, and Black Hawk was taken prisoner. When President Andrew Jackson ordered Black Hawk brought east in 1833, the Sauk chief became a celebrity and attracted great crowds.
The campaign of 1832 led to what some call, a complete victory for the U.S. Army for the state of Illinois, as written from a non-Native perspective. Many of Black Hawk's followers were killed and the Quad Cities region was completely opened to settlement. After the war, Black Hawk was captured and taken to the eastern U.S. Black Hawk died in 1838 in what is now southeastern Iowa, and he left behind an enduring legacy. Many European-Americans admired Black Hawk's courage in defense of his band's ancestral lands, and the Native leader was elevated to the rank of a folk hero, legend.
His body currently lays at rest in Pennsylvania and his remains are being considered for repatriation - to be brought “home” for a proper burial with his tribe in Oklahoma.