Category: Curriculum

niibin 2012 – Bad River to Bois Forte

By , August 26, 2012

Students visited Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC- Odanah, WI) to learn more about Ojibwe language and culture, current tribal management of the water and land uses and reacquaint and reestablish ourselves as needed concerning our treaty rights as Indian people to hunt and gather.

 

It was a week of connecting what we know about the areas in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan where Ojibwe people have lived for generations. We added to our knowledge by traveling southeast to the Bad River Reservation in Odanah, WI and as far north as the Bois Forte Reservation in northern Minnesota. Between the bus rides students studied the geology of the land, collected water samples for testing, swam in lakes, read books, wrote reflections/took notes and enjoyed each other as family and friends.

At the Bois Forte Museum students walked through displays describing  the history of the Ojibwe people traveling east to the place where the wild rice grew. Government boarding schools and traditional life clashed bringing with it continued years of struggle for generations to follow. Loss of language and culture, family groups broken and a lack of understanding between peoples concerning land and water use contributed to our current state and the established reservation system of government. Elders spoke about what we have been through and encouraged the young people to become knowledgeable to carry on.

“Indians lives in family groups and villages. We were not identified by a particular place and never imagined that land could belong to individuals. When the settlers arrived the government gave us names according to where our villages happened to be. They put us on reservations, forbade out traditions and ignored our reverence for the land.

I like to describe the Ojibwe and Fur Trade partnership as an  “economic cooperation”. Indians became part of the newly created global industrial  economy as producers, consumers, and traders. They were participants in that world even before many Europeans.” 
~Carl Gawboy, Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe

Phytoliths

By , March 12, 2012

The study of phytoliths in clay pots became more understandable as students made their own clay coil pots with white earthenware clay, bisque fired them and then completed a final firing at the campfire during camp. Other exploration to assist students in identifying phytoliths under the microscope were also done using oil based clay and drawing.  We hope to cook in the pots during 2013 camp.

Phytoliths and Campfires

By , February 6, 2012

Nightly campfire during our third year of study with LacCore has provided opportunity to walk through the process of making a clay pot, firing it, and hopefully using it as a utilitarian piece of pottery. Clay is one of the art  forms that lasts overtime allowing years of use by the maker as well as a wealth f information to scientists later on.

Cone-shaped sandy paste vessel from a Mossy Grove site in Polk County, Texas. Whole Mossy Grove pots are rare. TARL archives.

They tried to form there pots in the traditional cone shape. Pots were then bisque fired to cone 06 and then returned to the next camp where the pots were fired in the campfire. The smoke and wood ash  created beautiful greys and blacks in the clay. Olive oil was brushed into the hot pots curing the clay. Curing the ceramics we hope will keep food from sticking to the clay.

Signs of a Chemical Reaction

By , February 5, 2012

Students worked with a number of “reactants” which when put together created a “product”. Our reactant options included cabbage juice, citric acid, calcium chloride (CaCl2), baking soda or water. Everyone got to pick what they wanted to mix together. Mixtures could use only two reactants up to all five.  Students worked in groups of two – one gidaa student with one college student. Groups were able to complete up to ten experiments. It was really fun.

Baking soda and cabbage juice was the most curious combination for Chelsey. “It turned green! (and smelled bad)”. She added CaCl2 to the mixture and it created massive foam and turned from green to pink right away.

Gye put baking soda, citric acid and CaCl2 together and it made a white foam that got thicker over time. It had chunky white spots with cold and warm in different parts. It was really fun.

Geo Cashing in Ojibwe

By , February 5, 2012

Students participated in geo cashing! Teachers prepared a course in the woods outside at the Cloquet Forestry using GPS coordinates. Students had to decipher the Ojibwe math problem to find the correct coordinates to ultimately find the hidden prize.

James liked the running around with Patrick. James Paunu enjoyed the challenge of using the GPS itself. Even though it was difficult, being out in the winter night sky was great. Bob was firing the clay pots in the fire (curing with olive oil) in hopes of getting them ready to cook wild rice in them next camp.
Ojibwe Numbers

1 = bezhig
2 = niizh
3 = niswi
5 = niiwin
5 = naanan
6 = ingodwaaswi
7 = niizhwaaswi
8 = ishwaaswi
9 = zhaangaswi
10 – midaaswi
11-19 Examples:

16 = ashi  ingodwaaswi                        16 = and (ten)  six

15 = ashi  naanan                                  15 = and (ten)  five

Numbers 201-219, 301-319, etc. Examples:
201 = niizhwaak  bezhig                     201 = number root two hundred    one

513  = naanwaak   ashi   niswi           513 = number root five   hundred  and (ten)  three

Numbers 220-299, 320-399, etc. Examples:
231 = niizhwaak  nisimidana   ashi   bezhig
213 = number root two hundred    number root three  tens  and  one

487 – niiwaak  ishwaasimidana  ashi  niizhwaaswi
487 = number root four  hundred  number root eight  tens and seven

Macroinvertebrate Tag

By , February 4, 2012

Students spent time learning about the transparency water and dissolved oxygen in specific areas (Hwy 11, Hwy 7, Jay Cock and Chambers Grove). Each place a specific level that told them if the water was healthy or not. All spots checked were very good.

Water samples were taken and invertebrates were counted. Over time the invertebrates that were tolerate to pollutants grew in number. That’s bad. The invertebrates that were sensitive to pollution started to die off – also bad.

Each student was then ID as either a stone fly, caddis fly, mayfly, a scud, or a blood worm. Students lined up and on the mark “go” ran from one side to the other side of the field. The person who was “it” who represented pollution. If they tagged one of the invertebrates  the invertebrate became a “bloodworm”. A bloodworm is a symbol of polluted waters. It took only three or four runs across the field to shake out the “waters” showing how the pollution grows fast and leaves a negative impact.

Snow Snakes

By , March 2, 2011

  Snow snakes are a traditional game that has been played by many generations wherever there is snow. Today competitions take place as far north as the Arctic Games. Local games have sprung up annually in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. gidakiimanaaniwigamig students worked to carve their own snow snake during the winter months of camp. They tested the velocity (and friction) their snake produced by pushing it into a track with a per-determined weight attached to a swinging arm.

Traditional games are not only used for gathering people together but to teach a skill needed for survival. Throwing the snow snakes sharpened skills for hunting and spearing as it taught patience, focus and team work. Students used traditional Mora carving knives as well as  tools to carve wild rice knockers to form their snow snakes. A light coat of polyurethane (and some suggest ski wax) will help the snake fly down the snow track.

namebini-giizis manoomin 2011

By , February 5, 2011

Coring crew

Examining cores from Lake Superior

Science Lab


namebini-giizis 2011 Sucker Moon (February) Students worked on a number of activities related to the Earth, Science, the Arts and Culture and Mathematics. Students worked in the Forestry Computer lab to present their findings. Students studied the geology of Lake Superior Glaciers. They also used their skills and knowledge of the Watershed to play a fun game. Lastly they continued working on their snow snakes sharing stories and better carving techniques.

 

gichi-manidoo-giizis manoomin 2011

By , January 26, 2011

gichi-manidoo-giizis 2011 Great Spirit Moon (January) camp began at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College with a Feast and Ceremony. Year two brings new challenges to the group as we study the wild rice lakes’ past, present and future.  Lake Team 4 spent most of the day Saturday on Mud Lake while Lake Team 5 and 6  worked in small groups carving snow snakes, water table study and studying fluid dynamics. Student wrote about what they learned and were interested in studying.

manoomin January Student Reading Assignment

By , January 26, 2011

All manoomin students are to read the Talking Rocks article by Ron Morton and Carl Gawboy (see below) and bring the completed worksheet (see below) with them to February camp (Feb 4-6, 2011). This assignment is required. Turn in worksheets to Rachel on Friday when you arrive. Any questions or are having trouble reading this assignment please contact a teacher.

Talking Rocks (pdf)

manoomin Reading Assignment 1: The Wolf’s Head (Word document)

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