Students Get Hands-On Cultural Lesson at Ojibwe Winter Games
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Those games have since been replaced by video games and computers.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.
RHINELANDER - More than 50,000 people in Wisconsin apply for unemployment benefits every week.
Now, the state Department of Workforce Development wants to know how it can improve the unemployment insurance system.
"Our Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council really likes to get out there and hear firsthand from those who deal with that system directly. We're looking for their suggestions and their ideas on what we might do to make the system even better," said Dave Anderson, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the state Department of Workforce Development.
RHINELANDER - It can be difficult to get around the Northwoods, especially in the snow. For people with physical disabilities, it can seem almost impossible. A new piece of technology changed Bob Simon's life. Now he's hoping to help others with physical disabilities enjoy the outdoors.
"I used to love to hunt and fish," he said.
But when Simon, who is from Rhinelander, lost his legs during a work accident in 2008, he didn't know if he'd be able to enjoy the outdoors again.
HAZELHURST - Tourists make a big economic impact in the Northwood, but they don't stay forever. Monday, locals thanked them for coming to the Northwoods this summer.
People stood outside of Whitman's Bar and Grill just off of Highway 51 in Hazelhurst to wave goodbye. The bar has been doing this for 44 years.
One of the owners says this isn't just a party for the tourists, but for locals as well.
"It's also a goodbye summer party for a lot of the locals. Most of the people that come, I know," said Whitman's Bar and Grill co-owner, Mary Whitman. "They may be tourists that come up for a week or weekends, but it's a party. We give away free street corn, free sloppy joes and it's just a thank you.
MANITOWOC - Lakeshore communities from Two Rivers to Port Washington will able to apply for marine-sanctuary status, which could lead to protections for natural resources and improved research on shipwrecks.
An HTR Media report (http://htrne.ws/1lrd3Ix ) says the 875-square-mile area encompasses 33 known shipwrecks and countless others.
Sanctuaries are established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Agency spokeswoman Ellen Brody says she expects the first applications to begin arriving in the fall.
Two photographic exhibits to open next week at ArtStart
RHINELANDER - The artists paired together in ArtStart's next exhibition couldn't have much different backgrounds.
Next Friday, the Rhinelander gallery will open with two very diverse displays.
"We have two photographic exhibitions opening. One is a solo artist, so the whole gallery will be their work, and the other is an artist who worked with teens as a kind of therapy program, photography and art as therapy," said ArtStart Development Director Melinda Childs.
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