Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Kicks Off 45th Anniversary with Inclusive Additions to Board Leadership

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian announced the addition of three members to the organization's board of directors and the appointment of four new executive committee members. April Chancellor (Prairie Band of Potawatomi) will lead the organization as board president in 2022.

"As we celebrate our 45th anniversary, the Mitchell Museum is poised for continued excellence with a reimagined vision for the organization and diverse new executive leadership," said April Chancellor, president of the board. "I am honored to join with the Mitchell Museum's highly qualified and dedicated staff and board who represent diverse Indigenous nations from across the United States and Canada, to lead the organization in 2022."

The Mitchell Museum is one of only a few museums that focuses exclusively on Indigenous peoples' art, histories, and cultures throughout the United States and Canada. Its mission is to promote and share a deeper understanding of Indigenous people's histories, cultures, traditions, and contributions, both past and present. The Museum offers diverse programming opportunities and innovative exhibits developed in partnership with Native organizations and individuals, designed to provide visitors with an authentic cultural and educational experience.

"The Mitchell Museum strives to set a new standard for museums representing Indigenous peoples and cultures by working hand-in-hand with Native individuals and communities," said Kim Vigue, Mitchell Museum executive director. "We are proud that the Mitchell Museum is playing an active role in reclaiming Native history, confronting the legacy of colonialism, addressing historical injustices, and celebrating the strength and accomplishments of today's Native communities by offering authentic stories, exhibits, and programming through an Indigenous lens."

April Chancellor has served on the Mitchell Museum's board for two years. She brings 15 years of Museum and nonprofit experience to her leadership role. As an Instructional Developer at Project Lead the Way, she delivers transformative learning experiences for students across the country, focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Chancellor is a graduate of Kansas State University and earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Loyola University. She is of Prairie Band Potawatomi ancestry.

The board's new members are Stephanie Perdew (Cherokee Nation), George J. Stevenson (Cherokee Nation), and Andrew Johnson (Cherokee Nation). Newly appointed executive board members include April Chancellor (Prairie Band of Potawatomi), President; Susan Salisbury, Vice-President; Kenneth Traisman, Treasurer; and Carol LaMar (Seminole/Cherokee) Secretary.

Dr. Stephanie Perdew is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and earned a Ph.D. in religious history at Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University, where she serves as an affiliate faculty member. She serves as an Associate Conference Minister of the Illinois Conference United Church of Christ and educator in Native American history as an interfaith leader in the Chicago area.

George J. Stevenson is the former chairman of Stevenson & Company and worked previously at the National Tea Company and McKinsey & Company. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and B.S. from Iowa State University. Stevenson is a past president of the Association for Corporate Growth, Chicago Chapter.

Andrew Johnson serves as the executive director of the Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and president of Cherokee Asphalt Solutions, LLC. He has served as an executive leader at multiple corporations throughout his career and brings extensive nonprofit experience. Johnson is the Chairman of the State of Illinois Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council. He earned an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Under the direction of Native American leadership and staff, the Mitchell Museum is now offering virtual and in-person tours and programming designed to engage new audiences and protect the health and safety of visitors and participants during COVID-19. The Museum is committed to amplifying the Native voices that have historically been absent from museums and telling the multitude of untold stories about the resiliency and survival of Native American communities and their present-day revitalization and contributions.

Mitchell Museum 2022 Board of Directors

April Chancellor, President, (Prairie Band Potawatomi)

Susan Salisbury, Vice President

Kenneth Traisman, Treasurer

Carol LaMar, Secretary (Seminole/Cherokee)

Joyce Niederman

Jan Berkson, Past President

Tom Berreth (Gwich'in, Athabaskan)

Melvin Masquat (Navajo, Winnebago, Kickapoo)

Andrew Johnson (Cherokee Nation)

George Stevenson (Cherokee Nation)

Stephanie Perdew (Cherokee Nation)

About the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is one of only a handful of museums across the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history, and culture of American Indian and First Nation peoples from throughout the United States and Canada. The Museum was founded by John and Betty Seabury-Mitchell, who donated their personal collection to Kendall College in 1977.

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