WAUSAU - The sound of tradition filled a Wausau high school today. A Native American pow-wow celebrated the end of summer, and gave the community a chance to learn more about native heritage.
It's the fourth annual Powwow held at Wausau East, but this celebration has roots that go much deeper.
"When I was a little girl they had an annual pow-wow here, but it just stopped and nobody knew why," said Nicole Larson, a member of the Indigenous Circle of Nations (ICON), parent advisory board.
So ICON decided to bring it back. They want kids to learn about their heritage and be able to share it with everybody in the community.
"Really what it is, is a celebration of life. We're always taught to never come to a pow-wow with negative feelings or thoughts, and it's always a place to come with a good heart… The goal of our powwow, the ICON pow-wow, is basically to bridge the gap of cultures... Ending racism is a huge, huge goal for just about every culture in the world," said Larson.
"It's a fun family tradition,” said Kearstin Rose Comstock, a young Ojibwe dancer from Wausau, “But most of all I've been watching other people doing like grass dancing and jingle, and all those other kinds, so I've been actually learning!"
The ICON parent advisory board invites students and parents of all cultures to attend their annual pow-wow to experience some native traditions up close, and take away a new understanding of centuries old celebrations.
“Even if they’re not an Indian or anything or a native, they should just see what it's all about!" said Kearstin.
GREEN BAY - Two people convicted of mistreating cows at a Brown County dairy farm have been fined hundreds of dollars.
Lucia Martinez pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of mistreating animals, and Abelardo Jaimes pleaded no contest to one count. As part of a plea deal the charge was downgraded from a misdemeanor to a forfeiture.
Prosecutor David Lasee says with fines and court costs, Martinez will owe about $1,100, while Jaimes will have to pay $600 to $700.
Martinez, Jaimes and two others were charged after Mercy for Animals, an animal-rights group, secretly recorded workers beating injured cows.
Jaimes' attorney, Luca Lopes Fagundes, says workers were told they needed to make sure sick cows didn't remain down because they could die.
A message left with Martinez's attorney wasn't immediately returned.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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