From mound-building cultures all the way to the final American Indian tribes removed from the area, Northwest Ohio holds a rich and tragic Indigenous history. While Native American histories are overlooked and often intentionally forgotten all across the country, Northwest Ohio is particularly seldom associated with native identity and stories, creating a gap in public memory and local history that emphasizes comfortable narratives over complex and harsh realities.
Tribal flags proudly mounted atop a decoratively wrapped food truck represent just a few of the tribes of North America’s Indigenous peoples, and are switched out periodically to represent and honor those working in the truck. This diversity is also reflected in the cultural origins of each dish served, from Navajo frybread to Northwestern Indigenous food platters.
During the 18th century, squirrels were the sought-after, beloved companions of many Americans. Fast forward a hundred years, and squirrels in Ohio were so numerous that they had a bounty on their heads. From pets to pests to planters, squirrels have had a unique relationship with humans. Today, beyond serving as a bizarre bragging right for college campuses, they continue to be a crucial part of our ecosystems as seed sowers in wild and urban areas alike.
The drive-in is an icon of twentieth-century American entertainment. Since the height of their popularity in the ‘50s and subsequent decline as real estate costs rose and technology advanced, drive-in theaters have gotten creative — and even made a brief comeback as a socially-distanced, open-air pandemic pastime.
The late Queen Elizabeth II didn’t visit the United States that often — and when she did, she made appearances primarily in the cities you’d expect, like New York City (1957, 1976, 2010) and Washington D.C. (1951, 1957, 1976, 1991, 2007). But a visit to the Great Lakes region shortly into her reign — one of the longest trips of her early years as Queen — carried unique international significance and brought the Queen on a rare pit stop to the American Midwest.
Over the past decade, college enrollment nationwide has been on a decline and, according to Inside Higher Education, this decline has been more severe among colleges in the Midwest and Northeast. Public institutions rely on tuition and state funding associated with student enrollment to maintain their operational budgets, so dropping enrollment numbers spell trouble for the future of higher education.
Midstory is a 501(c)(3) non-profit thinkhub that progresses the narrative of the Midwest by incubating bright, diverse and interdisciplinary thinkers to exchange ideas and envision the future of our region through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research since its founding in 2018.
As an educational media organization, we inform, interpret and inspire in and for the Midwest and believe that our region’s challenges can be our greatest asset to drive renewed interest and human capital into post-industrial cities.