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

ARBOR VITAE -
Deputies in Vilas County needs help finding a suspect that broke into a local business recently, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect triggered an alarm at the Little Creek Coffee Company in Arbor Vitae on June 22.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's July 4th parade will follow a slightly different route this year, due a major downtown reconstruction project.  But the parade organizer says people are as excited as ever for the celebrations.

Instead of going down Brown Street as in years past, the parade will step off right in front of the Oneida County Courthouse on Oneida and Davenport Streets.  The route will then go down Pelham Street, past City Hall, and north up Courtney ending at Young Street.

"We know there's excitement when they're saying, 'Is there going to be a parade? Is there going to be a parade? How are you going to do it,'" parade director Dale Schlieve said.

+ Read More

Play Video

PHILLIPS - Having just finished her sophomore year in high school, Park Falls' Allison Michels can barely drive a car legally. But even at a young age, she, like many high schoolers in Price County, is already taking college-level classes at Northcentral Technical College.

Michels is taking advantage of a summer Certified Nursing Assistant class at NTC's Phillips campus.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - The United States Supreme Court Tuesday formally rejected an appeal from Wisconsin which sought to put restrictions doctors working at abortion clinics.

The Justices on Tuesday refused to hear appeals from both Wisconsin and Mississippi.

They involved laws that would have required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The orders follow Monday's decision in which the court struck down a similar provision in Texas.

Federal appeals courts in Chicago and New Orleans earlier ruled against the states.

Mississippi's law would have closed the lone abortion clinic in the state, in Jackson.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - A Lac du Flambeau woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a Vilas County contracting company took a plea deal Monday.

49-year-old Samantha Chapman pled guilty to felony theft, fraudulent writings, and tax fraud.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAONA - This time last year, staff at Camp LeFeber in Laona thought they weren't going to have another season. The Boy Scout Camp was set to close last summer, but with the help of one group and people in the community, it'll stay open this year and perhaps for years to come. 

Camper Erik Norlock has made the trip from Whitefish Bay to Camp LeFeber in Laona since he finished 5th grade. 

"I care a lot about every single scout that we have here," said Norlock. "And being about to do it in such an amazing place is really something that touches home for me."

But the now high school graduate and hundreds more boy scouts who travel to the camp every year almost didn't have a place to go back to. 

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin will be sending 45 members of the State Patrol to Cleveland next month to help with security at the Republican National Convention.

That is 11 percent of the State Patrol's 409 sworn staff members.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here