Local tribe hosts a camp to pass on traditions to the next generation Submitted: 02/19/2017
MOLE LAKE - Native Americans often pass on traditions through storytelling. This week, one tribe local decided to take it a step further.

Kids learned about how their ancestors harvested food in winter more than a century ago.

"It's part of their history it's part of their culture, that our people used to do this," said camp instructor Wayne LaBine.

The Sokaogon Chippewa Band of Lake Superior Indians hosted a Deep Snow Camp for kids in Mole Lake this weekend.

Volunteers taught a few dozen kids both old and new methods of hunting and gathering throughout the three-day camp.

One of the many things the kids learned to do was how to set up a gill net. Kids helped put the 100-foot net underneath the ice.

Kids also learned about spearing, trapping, tip-up and tip-down ice fishing, and even how to gut and skin fish.

"This was the original way of life, and all of these things are passed down orally from generation to generation," said LaBine.

But in the past, this camp wouldn't have been possible.

"It hasn't been like this for many, many years because a lot of it went underground, we weren't allowed to do it," said LaBine.

The 22 camp volunteers are trying to ensure traditions aren't lost.

"They need to know their culture, where they come from… what we do as Native people. And if we don't teach them who is?" said Sokaogon Chippewa Community Council Member Carson Ackley.

The kids were excited to learn.

"So that we can carry on our tradition and then our culture doesn't get lost. And just really to keep out culture alive," said camper Joshua.

Volunteers were happy to pass on cultural traditions to the next generation.

"It's important for the elders and people like myself to be able to teach these things to the kids so they have an idea of how it's going to be passed on even when they get older, how that happens," said LaBine.

Organizers say they will most likely have the Deep Snow Camp again next year.

Story By: Dakota Sherek

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