On Tuesday, May 27, the canoe made its way to Dejope Hall, where it will remain as an example of Ojibwe art. Wayne Valliere and his son,Jephrey, arrived in Madison to bless the canoe and paddle from the future site of UW Alumni Park to Dejope. In contrast to the initial launch back in November, the sun was shining and the spring weather helped welcome the canoe to Lake Mendota. Several community members and friends from campus came to take part in the ceremony. Around mid-morning, Wayne and Jephrey paddled along the shore to the Porter Boathouse.
Thanks to the Porter Boathouse for graciously allowing us use of the docks!
Upon arrival, we were able to portage the canoe to DeJope, where Wayne, the canoe, and the many generous donors were honored. Nearly 50 people joined us in celebrating the occasion in which Wayne, as well as Philippe COQUARD, spoke about the importance of the project to the continued understanding of indigenous cultures in Wisconsin and specifically at the University.
An amazing lunch followed, courtesy of UW Dining Services, as the canoe was mounted in front of the Four Lakes Market and dining area. Two signs accompany the canoe. One sign describes the project in both Ojibwe and English and documents the many important aspects of the building of the canoe including the tradition, culture, and construction that played such an important role over this past year. The other plaque acknowledges the artist and thanks the donors involved.
Special thanks once again to the following:
- Philippe and Julie COQUARD family
- Wisconsin Alumni Association
- UW-Madison Division of University Housing
- UW-Madison Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Their generous support throughout the fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014 have made so much of this possible.
The canoe will be available to Wunk Sheek, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Native America student organization on campus.