Originally published in The Chicago Reporter
by Stephanie Williams
Marilyn Miller was 12 when she and her family arrived in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood during the hot and muggy summer of 1967. Looking for better job opportunities, they moved from the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa reservation in northern Wisconsin under a federal program known as relocation that offered stipends to American Indians who wanted to move from reservations into cities starting in 1952.
The family moved into an apartment at 4939 N. Broadway St. But Miller was disappointed with her new home.
"The quality, the area, the look didn't match the idea of what I had. Everything was dirty and cluttered. The big city didn't seem so pretty anymore," Miller recalled. "I choked back the tears."
She debated whether to tell her dad, a loving but stern man, how she felt. When she did finally muster up the courage, he told her they were staying in Chicago.
"'You never go back, you always move forward,'" Miller said he told her.
Except for a year and a half in the early 1990s, she has lived in Chicago ever since.
Her story is a common one: Thousands of Native Americans moved to Chicago from reservations and other rural areas in the second half of the 20th century. As community and social service organizations were established in or near Uptown, the area soon became the anchor of the city's American Indian community...To read the complete article, go to: LookSmart.