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These Canoes Carry Culture

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Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan: These Canoes Carry Culture is a program designed to teach Ojibwe youth the art of birchbark canoe building on the UW-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 of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians from Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin. These Canoes Carry Culture is a collaborative project, supported generously by 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.

Follow the progress of the canoe and the project on the blog here and on Facebook.

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