About the Project


The Windgate Charitable Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Art, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Collaborative Center for Health Equity, the Center for the Study of Upper Midwest Cultures, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Brittingham Foundation, the Goodman Community Center, and the Lac du Flambeau ENVISION program are thrilled to welcome contemporary Ojibwe artist and cultural educator Wayne Valliere (Mino-Giizhig) of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to campus to build a traditional Ojibwe birchbark canoe (wiigwaasi-jiimaan) during the fall semester of 2013.

Mr. Valliere will share details of the elaborate and careful work that goes into the making of a traditional canoe with students, staff, and community members.  All who are interested can follow the process of the canoe’s construction, from the harvesting of  materials (cedar, birch bark, spruce roots, and pine pitch)  through construction of the canoe,  to its finishing work and maiden voyage. If you are not able to visit the UW campus in person to meet Wayne and talk with him about his art the significance of the wiigwaasi-jiimaan to contemporary Ojibwe life, you can follow the process of the canoe’s construction on this site. We are glad that you have come to visit–in person or online–and we hope you will stop by often to watch the progress of this exciting project.


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