There are times when programming at the Weyerhaeuser Museum comes together, seemingly of its own accord. Such is the case with our upcoming Ojibwe Culture Series.
I met Mona Marshall, Ojibwe author and illustrator, some time ago through our local writers group. She loaned me her cousin David MacArthur’s books, “The Day the Watertower Froze” and “His Name Was David Sam,” both of which talk about David’s years in working for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He and Mona are both part of the White Earth Band.
Mona then introduced me to David and we got to talking about creating a couple of events at the museum, one a book talk featuring David’s work, the other an Ojibwe genealogy program led by David and Mona.
As Mona, David and I were working on these events, we had several people stop in to request seeing the Ojibwe bandolier bags (gashkibidaaganag) in the museum’s collection. One of them, the bandolier bag presented by Mille Lacs Chief Shab-osh-kung to Nathan Richardson, was featured in the book, “A Bag Worth a Pony: The Art of the Ojibwe Bandolier Bag,” by Marcia Anderson. This marvelous book discusses the intricacies of the art form, shows the history of these bags, and showcases current bead artists, including Cheryl Minnema.
One of the people who stopped in to see our bandolier bags was Vern Northrup, a visual storyteller who uses photography to teach people about nature and the Ojibwe language. He has a book of his photographs that is called “Akinomaage: Teaching from the Earth.” Through our conversation over the bandolier bags, we set up a book talk with Vern during our Ojibwe Culture Series.
We also wanted to offer a class in bead applique. With Marcia Anderson’s help, we got in touch with Cheryl Minnema and she will be teaching bead applique for our series.
The requests to view our bandolier bags also led to this year’s BEAD exhibit, in which we feature the bags along with numerous other beaded objects from the museum’s collection. This is an organic exhibit that promises to grow from its present form. Stay tuned for updates to the exhibit.
Below is our list of events within the 2020 Ojibwe Culture Series at the Weyerhaeuser Museum.
2020 Ojibwe Culture Series
May 16 – Vern Northrup Book Talk – 10-11:30 a.m.
Vern Northrup is a visual storyteller who uses photography as a tool to educate both himself and the viewer about the rhythm of nature, the preservation of tradition, and the relationship between resilience and sustainability. Through his book “Akinomaage: Teaching from the Earth,” Northrup uses his photographs of the natural world to illustrate the Ojibwe language. Cost: Free
June 6 – Ojibwe Genealogy – 1-4 p.m.
Join David MacArthur and Mona Marshall of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe as they explore Ojibwe genealogy. Resources related to Ojibwe genealogy within the Morrison County Historical Society’s collections will also be shared. Cost: Free
June 13 – David MacArthur Book Talk – 1:30-3 p.m.
David MacArthur is author of two books that share the stories of his time working with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, “The Day the Watertower Froze” and “His Name Was David Sam.” Though MacArthur is a member of the White Earth Reservation, it was his 15 years of working at the Mille Lacs Reservation that connected him more deeply to his Native heritage. Cost: Free
June 27 – Bead Applique Class with Cheryl Minnema – 1-5 p.m.
Bead artist Cheryl Benjamin Minnema learned beadwork and other Ojibwe crafts from her great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and other elders at the Mille Lacs Reservation, where she grew up. During this class, Minnema will teach attendees methods for bead applique.
Cost: $45 general admission, $40 MCHS members – Supplies included. Class limit: 15
Register at https://morrison-county-historical-society.square.site/
These events will take place at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum, 2151 South Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls, MN.
Call 320-632-4007 for more information or to register.