Two hundred and twenty three miles. That’s the distance between Dejope Hall in Madison to the shores of Lake Pokegema in Lac du Flambeau. It’s also the distance that the canoe traveled yesterday in the (very well-padded) back of a truck. It’s the first time that the canoe has been in northern Wisconsin since its materials were harvested here in 2013.
All of the birchbark canoes that Wayne has worked on have at some point touched the waters here in Lac du Flambeau and this canoe will be no different. Students and staff from the Lac du Flambeau public school will be helping walk the canoe from the school to Lake Pokegema so that it can be launched around mid-day into the waters of northern Wisconsin.
If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and for more information, just check out the press release below. We’ll be posting updates to the Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan: These Canoes Carry Culture Facebook page throughout the day and, of course, will be posting pictures and a short write-up here on the blog after the event.
We want to thank the UW-Madison Division of University Housing for generously helping facilitate the canoe’s trip up to Lac du Flambeau.
CARRYING OUR HERITAGE FORWARD CELEBRATION – STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY LAUNCH CANOE
On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Lac du Flambeau Public school students and staff will be carrying the traditional birchbark canoe built by Wayne Valliere and the ENVISION students from the school to the shores of Lake Pokegema, behind the Lake of the Torches Hotel in Lac du Flambeau. They will be accompanied by Tribal Elders, a drum and community members.
A video showcasing the project will be shown at the school at 11:15 am. The walk from the school to the canoe launch will begin at 11:45. The canoe will be launched following ceremonies at Lake Pokegema. The launch will take place between 12:15 and 12:30 pm.
The canoe was built in cooperation with The University of Wisconsin and will be permanently displayed at the new Dejope Residence Hall on the campus in Madison. Major funding for the project came from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
The project is part of an effort to learn about and honor Ojibwe culture and centuries old technological skill within the context of a contemporary public school. “These Canoes Carry Culture” began in the summer of 2013 when Valliere and ENVISION students gathered materials for the canoe in the traditional way. This project gave students an opportunity to be proud of the wisdom and knowledge of their ancestors and to see how they can gain an academic education without sacrificing that culture.
ENVISION is a middle school project based service learning program with Ojibwe culture at its heart.