fbpx Skip to main content

IIMN at the MIA

Students from the Institute’s Citizenship class took a field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) for a special tour of works of art related to the U.S. Naturalization exam. The tour provided aspiring citizens an opportunity to engage with American History. For many students, this was their first trip to the MIA, and they look forward to returning.

The tour included portraits of George Washington and Little Crow, a chief of the Mdewakanton Dakota people, as well as paintings of westward expansion and the Mississippi river. The tour also highlighted a hand-carved writing desk built by William Howard, a former slave. The tour ended with a painting entitled “The Hmong Migration” by Cy Thao, which illustrates the Hmong people’s journey from their homeland in Southeast Asia to their new home in the United States.

During the tour, the students were asked to consider what items they would have with them if they were having their portrait painted. They were also asked why the decided to apply for citizenship. The most common answers were:

  • “I love America.”
  • “I want to vote.”
  • “I want to visit my family back home without restrictions.”

If you or someone you know is not yet a U.S. citizen, please contact the Institute for help with the process. Due to the upcoming 2016 Presidential elections, we anticipate an increase in citizenship applications and therefore processing time. Plan now so that you can vote next fall!

Here are photos from the tour and a sampling of relevant questions from the naturalization exam:

Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
American Indians / Native Americans

Name one American Indian Tribe in the United States.
Apache, Arawak, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Chippewa, Choctaw, Creek, Crow, Hopi, Huron, Inuit, Iroquois, Lakota, Mohegan, Navajo, Oneida, Pueblo, Seminole, Shawnee, Sioux, Teton

Who is the “Father of our country”?
(George) Washington

Who is in charge of the executive branch?
The President

In what month do we vote for President?

Who vetoes bills?
The President

There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
Citizens eighteen and older can vote.
You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
Any citizens can vote. (Men and women can vote).
A male citizens of any race can vote.

What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
Africans / people from Africa

What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
Freed the slaves
Freed the slaves in the Confederacy
Freed the slaves in the Confederate states
Freed the slaves in most Southern states

What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?
Freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
Saved (or preserved) the Union
led the United States during the Civil War

Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.

What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
The Louisiana Territory / Louisiana

What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
Freedom of expression
Freedom of speech
Freedom of assembly
Freedom to petition the government
Freedom of worship
The right to bear arms

Special thanks to Chris Bowman, Karleen Gardener and Elisabeth Callihan of the MIA for making this partnership possible.

The Institute offers Citizenship classes four times a year. Classes meet on Saturday mornings for ten weeks. In 2014, 87 students attended citizenship classes, and the Institute assisted with 981 applications for citizenship.