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Visiting Fellow, 2022 – 2023

Starla Thompson

Indigenous Curator and Scholar Independent


Photo by Erielle Bakkum

Starla Thompson (Forest Band Potawatomi) has served as a consultant for numerous institutions, including the Chicago Blackhawks, Lake Forest College, the Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee, the Burpee Museum of Natural History, and more. She is the curator of Of This Place, an exhibition at the Burpee Museum (opened July 2022), which showcases contemporary and traditional artworks by Native people from the Ho-Chunk, Sac and Fox, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe Nations. Thompson has presented widely as a diplomat, connector, storyteller, and truth-seeker, and she regularly performs the Native American ceremony called the "Jingle Dress Dance," or "Healing Dance," a century-old tradition that constitutes a prayer in physical form and motion.


Starla Thompson dancing in a jingle dress at the shore of Lake Michigan, from the land acknowledgment video that opens Chicago Blackhawks home games.

Native Chicago

2022 – 2023