In Clan Mother, Molly Miller shares her experience as a healer and explores the role of elders in her community. One of these roles is to bring back Native language and cultural healing practices. This can be a way to heal the historical trauma that resulted when children were taken from their families during the boarding school era. As a Clan Mother, Molly is a leader in the current grassroots efforts to help young people and bring the community together by restoring traditional culture.
Greg Johnson is a hunter and traditional craftsman. In Hunting Deer, he shares how and why hunting is so important to his family and to his communityŐs health and way of life. He discusses how treaty rights for hunting allow his people to continue their traditional relationship with the natural world, including both respect for and dependence on the deer for food, crafts and traditional art.
The Lady Thunderhawks are the Oneida Nation High School girls basketball team. Jessica House, a senior and captain of the team, considers how the team supports her identity as a member of her community and the Oneida Nation. The story explores the role of the basketball team in the community and highlights the importance of language and culture in school.
Lake Superior Whitefish shares the story of the Petersons, a commercial fishing family in Hancock, Michigan. Pat Peterson explains how treaties made with the U.S. government protect her peopleŐs right to hunt and fish in the ceded territories that once belonged to them. Though they initially faced opposition and prejudice when they moved to the area to fish, this family business is now an integral part of the community.
Arlene Blackdeer, a language apprentice for the Hoocak Waaziija Haci Language Division of the Ho-Chunk Nation, shares her experience in her community's effort to bring back the Ho-Chunk language. The apprentice program pairs young people with elder native speakers to improve their language skills. These apprentices then go on to teach language classes in the schools and surrounding community. The story highlights the role of elders in the community in passing on cultural knowledge, and the language revitalization efforts currently under way.
Living Language shares Ron Corn Jr.'s attempt to teach his daughter, Mimikwaeh, to be a first language speaker of the Menominee language. This story explores the relationship between culture and language. Language revitalization is a struggle for the Menominee, because most families speak English as a first language and are no longer able to pass their native language on to their children. Ron and MimkwaehŐs language journey may be one the last chances to keep the Menominee language alive.
Powwow Trail is a glimpse inside the Oneida Nation Powwow through the eyes of Dylan Jennings, a UW-Madison student, traditional dancer, and singer with Midnite Express. Dylan explains the significance of the powwow in his life, and reflects on his multiple identities as college student, member of his tribe, youth mentor and dancer and singer on the powwow trail. The story also addresses the similarities and differences between Native tribes.
In Prayers in a Song, Tall Paul explores the connections between language, identity, and landscape. He raps about how language shapes identity, and about his own sense of disconnection from the lands and traditions of his ancestors. His original hip-hop brings together the modern and the traditional, illustrating some of the
The Ways is a series of stories from Native communities around the central Great Lakes. This online educational resource for 6-12 grade students features videos and an interactive map exploring contemporary Native culture and language. The Ways supports educators in meeting the requirements of Wisconsin Act 31, seeking to expand and challenge current understanding of Native identity and communities.