Newark Earthworks Center

Dean MacDonald joined Director John Low for the presentation ceremony to President Johnson.

Dean MacDonald joined Director John Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) for the presentation ceremony to President Johnson.

Director John Low discusses the hand-crafted black ash baskets with President Johnson.

Director John Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) discusses the hand-crafted black ash baskets with President Johnson.

Black ash baskets made by noted Pokagon Potawatomi artist Jenny (Brown) Chapman

President Kristina Johnson received a Pokagon Potawatomi Black Ash Basket, a traditional craft of that tribal nation, from Director John Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) of the Newark Earthworks Center. The exhibit "Pokagon Potawatomi Black Ash Baskets: Our Storytellers" will be on the Columbus campus in October from the Field Museum.

Dr. John Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) beginning a tour at the Octagon State Memorial, Newark Earthworks.

Dr. John Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) beginning a tour at the Octagon State Memorial, Newark Earthworks. Last Octagon Open House this year October 16th, 2022. Dr. Low is leading a tour at 2 PM.

Artist Gerry Lang (Chowanoke Nation) and Dr. John Low ( Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) standing in the LeFevre Gallery with Cracking Wing III,  Quantum Memory Series.

Artist Gerry Lang (Chowanoke Nation) and Dr. John Low ( Pokagon Band of Potawatomi) standing in the LeFevre Gallery with Cracking Wing III, Quantum Memory Series.

 

The Newark Earthworks Center exists today as an academic research center on the Newark campus of the Ohio State University.

Our primary focus is to promote research, support faculty, contribute to student experiences, support appreciation of the ancestral sites and peoples, and contribute to a campus and university environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our value and relevancy are centered on respect, recognition, preservation, celebration, and promotion of Indigenous peoples and their achievements, past, present, and future.

Our mission-driven uniqueness has guided the organization since its formation.  And it is that mission that has been so powerfully effective for over fifteen years in attracting faculty, students, constituents, stakeholders, and the public to become united with our efforts.

 

 

"When a group of Pokagon Potawatomi elders came to visit the Newark Earthworks in 2014, One elder, Majel DeMarsh, reminded me of what I have been taught all my life; that "these sites are not sacred because of what was built here. These structures were built to acknowledge the sacredness that preexisted humans. These sites only confirm and celebrate the power that is already here."

-Director Dr. John Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi), Newark Earthworks Center.

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Elders Council at the Octagon State Memorial Earthworks 2014. Image courtesy of Timothy E. Black.
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Elders Council at the Octagon State Memorial Earthworks 2014.

 

 

 

"Tribal participation in the interpretation and management of the ancient and historical landscape is vital to the Indigenous legacy of Ohio. The tribes who lived in the Ohio Valley during the historical era were the most recent Indigenous caretakers of the earthworks. They lived among the earthen complexes, the effigies, and the grave mounds. They knew earthworks existed, understood they were made by their ancestors, and did not disturb them."

-Associate Director Marti Chaatsmith (Comanche Nation, descendant of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Newark Earthworks Center.

Group shot of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma during their visit in 2013. Image courtesy of Timothy E. Black
Group shot of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma during their visit in 2013.

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LeFevre Art gallery opening of the Pokagon Black Ash Baskets exhibit. 2019. Image courtesy of The Ohio State University.
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Aerial view of the Octagon State Memorial. Image courtesy of Timothy E. Black.
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We are shaping our work one basketful at a time, just as the Ohio River Valley's monumental earthworks were built.

We respect, recognize, preserve, celebrate, and promote Indigenous peoples and their achievements, past, present, and future.

Our work endeavors to reflect our mission and values of ourselves and The Ohio State University with excellence and impact, diversity and innovation, inclusion and equity, care and compassion, and integrity and respect.

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Dr. Christine Ballengee-Morris placing ashes into a central fire exhibit at the Newark Earthworks Day exhibit, 2009. Image courtesy of Timothy E. Black.
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