Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Recreating a challenging past: the restoration of the Boys Dormitory in Lac du FlambeauSubmitted: 02/01/2014

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Painful memories tempt us to try and forget the past.

In Lac du Flambeau, they're doing just the opposite.

"We can't ever let anybody forget that this had happened to our people and that
we had survived," says Melinda Young.

"These are the schools that were designed to assimilate the Native Americans of
this country into the American cultures," says Travis Maki.

A U.S. Government-run Boarding School took that mission to Lac du Flambeau from
1895 to 1932.

"The ultimate goal was to completely eliminate native cultures altogether," Maki
says.

"You don't hear about this in textbooks. I lived in this community my entire
life and did not know that this was a boarding school," Young says.

But by the middle of this year, the boarding school story will be on full display.

Young and Maki both work for the tribe's historic preservation initiative and
are working on the boarding school project.

Physically restoring what, for 27 years, was the Boys Dormitory at the school
will help restore a part of the Lac du Flambeau tribe's history.

"This hallway will mirror exactly what this building looked like in 1906. The
ultimate design is to have that visual impact of what these students were coming
into when they were brought to this school initially," Maki says, showing off
the entrance to the Boys Dormitory.

The Boarding School will be open for visitors to experience what native children
did so many decades ago.

It will also be the hub of the Ojibwe language and historic preservation programs.

Many of the rooms will mirror what they looked like in the early 20th century.

"We had an elder that had attended in the 1920s. We did a walkthrough with him,
and he told us what each of these rooms was for," Maki says.

Leaders hope a step back into the tribe's historic culture will provide another
reason for people to visit Lac du Flambeau.

"You have families coming. So it's providing an opportunity for families to do
something in our community together," says Young.

Painful as some of the memories may be, historic leaders are working to make
sure they're told at the Boys Dormitory.

"It's part of our history. We talk about World War I and Vietnam and everything
else. This is a fact of our history. It cannot be forgotten," Young says.

The Boys Dormitory should open to the public in June.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Temperatures dropping and more snow falling means more snow on our cars and streets. 

Cities all over the Northwoods want to make sure your cars and the roads stay safe with each snowfall by instituting winter parking regulations. 

The regulations in the City of Rhinelander include odd and even street parking to make it easier for clearing roads.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You probably wouldn't want to pick up stray dogs in your car every day. But that's what many Oneida County Humane Society workers have needed to do a lot of lately.  But not any longer.

The Humane Society got a mildly used Dodge Caravan this month. An anonymous donor gave $10,000, then Rhinelander Toyota and GM chipped in $5,000 each.

"It's nice that the donation came when it did," Humane Society Director Bria Swartout said. "We definitely probably wouldn't have gotten a vehicle as wonderful as this one is without a huge donation that we did get."

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Every year, a Christmas tree from Wisconsin helps brighten the Capitol rotunda in Madison. 

The governor officially lit this year's tree, which came from Eagle River, Friday.

While the tree's decorations provided the light, the Northland Pines High School choir provided the sound.

"It's in the Capitol and it's, I mean, people from the state come to see it," said Northlands Pines sophomore Malcolm McCanles.

+ Read More

Play Video

MONICO - Slippery roads caused a rollover crash between Monico and Crandon Friday morning.

No one was hurt in the pickup truck rollover, and deputies won't hand out any citations.

One other car ended up in the ditch.

Deputies on scene said that stretch of Highway 8 seemed to be one of the only slippery roads in all of Oneida County.

Responders narrowed traffic flow on Highway 8 to one lane while the accident was cleared.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - This years Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River, and now the choir performing at the tree-lighting ceremony will come from Eagle River, too.

The Northland Pines High School choir got in one last practice before they head down to Madison tomorrow.

More than 30 students will be performing in front of the governor.

+ Read More

Play Video

CONOVER - Great Headwaters Trails board members know people love to walk, run, and bike on the Conover-Phelps Trail.

Now, they need help expanding that trail another five and a half miles.

+ Read More

Play Video

CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA - The colder weather can't stop thousands of Native and non-Native people from going to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.

People from all over the world have come together to show their opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

We traveled with a group from Lac du Flambeau to the Oceti Sakowin Camp near that pipeline earlier this month.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here