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Students Get Hands-On Cultural Lesson at Ojibwe Winter GamesSubmitted: 02/22/2013
Story By Lex Gray


LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Hundred of years ago, Native Americans in the Northwoods played ancient outdoor games.

Those games have since been replaced by video games and computers. Now, the Lac du Flambeau tribe is working to bring them back.

Lakeland area elementary students came to the reservation this week.

They played with spears, snowshoes and snowsnakes.

"Goonikaa Ginebig, the snowsnake game, until last year, the game hadn't been played for 175 years," said Wayne Valliere, a language and culture instructor with the Lac du Flambeau tribe. "The game hadn't been played here with the Lac du Flambeau people and Waswagoning, so we're revitalizing our ancient game of the snowsnake game, and we're planting the seed in our young people so the game will live on."

The Ojibwe Winter Games are about much more than just one game.

Lac du Flambeau language and culture instructor Wayne Valliere started the week-long event last year.

He wants people to take away a lesson about Ojibwe culture and history, and it seems to be working.

"It's really fun because it seemed like it would be really difficult back then to do all these things," said Samantha Twelmeyer, a fourth grader at MHLT.

"It's really important to respect every culture - every culture on earth and every culture up here," said Arbor Vitae-Woodruff teacher Perry Smith.

The games continue through Saturday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ANTIGO - A group of tractor enthusiasts showed off their work Monday morning at Antigo's Memorial Day parade.

The Northwoods Tractor Club prides itself on refurbishing old tractors to like new condition.

The not for profit group started with just 20 members and has steadily grown to more than 100.

"Northwoods Tractor Club started in 2011 and it's a group of tractor enthusiasts that kinda thought well maybe we should get together and have an organization, maybe help out the community a little bit. So, we got together with 20 guys back then and now we're well over 100 members," says club President Mike McDougal.

Many of the tractors are hand me downs or ones that are too old to be used in the field.

That's why finding replacement parts can be tricky.

"A lot of times it's the family tractor that had been on their parents or grandparents farm. We reworked it and use it for parades such as today. Our whole general purpose of the organization is to raise money and establish an agriculture tractor museum up just north of Antigo is where we're looking at some land right now," says McDougal.

Many of the tractors date back to the 1930s.

Meeting are held on the last Monday of every month at Quinn's Bar in Neva Corners.

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RHINELANDER - The gloomy weather made it difficult to stay outside for the entire weekend, but the rain brought a lot of people to the Pioneer Park Historical Complex.

The complex opened for the season on Saturday.

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WHITE LAKE - People held grand ceremonies all over of the United States today in honor of Memorial Day.

But perhaps some of the most dignified ceremonies happen in small towns right here in the Northwoods.

With a population of less than 400, White Lake is one of those towns that doesn't let the number of people in the town determine its significance. 

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ST. GERMAIN - Thousands of visitors come to the Northwoods each year in search of treasures old and new.

That's because one of the largest flea markets happens right in St. Germain.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/30/2016

- We will take you across the Northwoods to show you Memorial Day celebrations that took place today.

- Plus, while the rain this weekend stopped some Memorial Day activities, businesses in the Northwoods saw sales boom.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ARBOR VITAE - Many people enjoy being on the lake and away from work on Memorial Day.

But some volunteers were working hard Monday on local lakes to prevent the spread of AIS.

Volunteers from Clean Boats, Clean Waters work at different lakes to check boats as they come in and out of the water. They often catch common mistakes, and teach boaters how they can help stop the spread of AIS.

"They usually recommend draining the water up away from the landing that way anything mixed in with the water in the boat doesn't get back in the lake," said volunteer Aaron Tomasoski. "Pretty often people will drain it out. It's been that way for a while, but people are starting to get a hang of it. But we are making progress on that."

Clean Boats, Clean Waters is a state-wide volunteer program that grew out of a program called Milfoil Masters, created by Minocqua middle schoolers in 2003.

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MINOCQUA - While the rain this weekend stopped some Memorial Day activities, businesses in the Northwoods saw sales boom. Rain made tourists head indoors to see what different businesses had to offer.

Many Minocqua area businesses said the weekend was very busy because of the rainy and cloudy weather. Business was slower Monday compared to the weekend.

At Dan's Minocqua Fudge this weekend, staff saw thousands come in to shop.

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