Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan: These Canoes Carry Culture is a program designed to teach Ojibwe youth the art of birchbark canoe building on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. This innovative program uses a preventative and culturally-situated intervention to improve health and wellness outcomes within targeted youth. Building upon Lac du Flambeau’s ENVISION program and Goodman Community Center’s Seed to Table program, These Canoes Carry Culture utilizes indigenous methodologies and pedagogies, along with traditional exercise, traditional teachings, and a culturally-situated approach to leadership building skills, in order to draw students to the good path of living. These Canoes Carry Culture is being led by Wayne “Mino-Giizhig” Valliere, an Ojibwe teacher, artist, and community leader from Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin.
These Canoes Carry Culture is a collaborative project, supported generously by the Windgate Foundation, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, the Brittingham Foundation, the Collaborative Center for Health Equity, the Department of Art, the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, the American Indian Studies Program, Wunk Sheek, the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, the Goodman Community Center, and ENVISION.
Follow the progress of the canoe and the project on the blog here and on Facebook.