LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Only five Master Builders of traditional Ojibwe birchbark canoes remain in the United States.
Two of them are in Lac du Flambeau.
But those two aren't just builders. They're teachers of tradition and culture.
In seven days, Wayne Valliere Sr.'s 32nd traditional Ojibwe canoe will be ready for launch.
"The best part of these canoes is working with the younger people," Valliere said.
This week, Valliere is working with four apprentices, preparing bark, pitch, and roots.
The materials hold a tribal meaning.
Alone, each is weak. Together, they're strong.
"The teaching for the Anishinaabe, and all people in the world is being together, helping one another," Valliere said. "Helping one another, we all become stronger, no matter what our race is, what our creed is, what our gender is. By working together, we all become strong."
"Our culture is a living culture here in this territory," said April Lindala.
Lindala is a professor at Northern Michigan University. This summer, she was hired as the Gekendaasowin Learning Village Project Coordinator, pairing master artists with young apprentices.
"Learning our culture is so valuable because there have been so many efforts for the learning to stop, the voices to be erased, the language to be annihilated," Lindala said. "Being able to see these kind of arts rejuvenated, revitalized, is going to help tell that story of an ancient culture for years and years to come."
Along with teaching his craft, Valliere reverses the loss of language, using and teaching Ojibwe as he goes.
Valliere says the canoes make the builders, like their traditions, timeless.
"These canoes carry so much culture," Valliere said. "It would be a shame to have that torch in our community go dim, and worse yet, go out."
Also in Lac du Flambeau this summer, Greg Johnson is working with apprentices. He's teaching the art of making cradleboards for babies.
KINGSTON, MO - Attorneys for a Missouri man accused of killing two brothers from Wisconsin are seeking to have two charges of abandoning a corpse dismissed in the case.
Garland Nelson, of Braymer, is facing the death penalty in the deaths of 24-year-old Justin Diemel and 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin. They disappeared after visiting Nelson's farm in July 2019 and their burned remains were later found in Missouri and Nebraska.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received less than 1% of the money that Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group pledged to it two years ago amid the electronics giant's expansion plans in Wisconsin.
In August 2018, Foxconn committed $100 million to the university to help fund an engineering building and for company-related research. It gave the school $700,000 in the first year of a 5-year agreement and records show the school has received no additional money over the past year.
RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.
NATH and The Good News Project partnered for the third year in a row to host an e-cycling fundraiser.
"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.
NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.
"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.
A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.
"While our expenses have not gone down, even gone up some, our income, which is fundraising grants, and gifts, has gone down," says Covin.
If you didn't make it Friday, don't worry! You can stop by from 9 to noon Saturady.
"We'll all be here ready to take their recyclables and all that stuff that's been gathering dust in their basement, closet, and garage, gather that up, those old electronics you have to pay through the nose to get rid of at the dump, bring 'em here, and we'll give rid of em for a small fee and it'll go to a good cause," says Covin.
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd's death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department.
The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.
Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he's retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments.
Morales also defended his record as chief.
His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.
KENOSHA - A Kenosha police officer wounded in a shootout last week while investigating a vehicle break-in has been released from a hospital, Wisconsin Department of Justice officials said Friday.
A release by the department's Division of Criminal Investigation identified the officer as Justin Pruett, who has been with the Kenosha police force for two years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the Kenosha News reported.
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