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WIIGWAASI-JIIMAANIKIWIN Interns learn wiigwaasi-jiimaanikiwin birch bark canoe making Master of all things wiigwaasi Marvin DeFoe instructs Crandon Wis.One hundred years ago the Ojibwe people did not use a motorized vehicle for transportation. They used a wiigwaasi-jiimaan birch bark canoe constructed of natural resources harvested out of the forest. On August 5 and 6 ten GLIFWC summer interns had the opportunity to travel to Mole Lake Wisconsin where Marvin DeFoe Red Cliff was teaching the complete process of assembling a wiigwaasi-jiimaan which was being built outside of the Mole Lake Recre- ational Center under a lodge. Marvin also had several other helpers including Robert Van Zile Jr. Leland Van Zile Josh Van Zile and Larry Van Zile. The long and vigorous process takes about a month explained DeFoe from gather- ing all the materials needed until finally sealing the jiimaan. The first day the interns arrived RobertVanZileJr.MoleLaketookhalf oftheinternsintotheforesttopullspruce roots. The spruce roots would be used as the thread to sew the wiigwaasi- jiimaan together. The other five interns stayedbehindandassistedMarvin.When Rob and his five returned they began to remove the bark from the spruce roots. The spruce roots ranged from 3 to 15 feet long. In all the interns removed bark from at least 30 roots. The process began with using fingernails to peel the bark down to the root after all the bark had been removed from the root the root was split down the middle using a mookomaan knife. Later that evening the interns were humbled to be invited to Tina Van Ziles home for a drum ceremony. The ceremony began with a prayer then pro- ceeded to the feast. Following the feast a group of men sang several ceremonial songs.Theysangforanyonewhoneeded healing and for good health. At the end of the ceremony everyone was gifted something from a bundle of gifts. Thefollowingdaytheinternswere taughthowtosewthewiigwaasi-jiimaan together. The first step of the process is drillingholeswherethewiigwaasbirch bark needed to be sewn together the holes needed to be an inch apart. After drilling the holes the interns and Mole Lakeyouthbegansewingthewiigwaasi- jiimaan using two spruce roots. The spruce roots had been soaking in water overnightinbuckets.Marvintheinterns and Mole Lake youth sewed most of the wiigwaasi-jiimaan together by the end of the day. Before the interns returned back to Bad River Rob and Marvin shared stories and taught the students the Ojibwe words for all the tools they had been using. Sadly the GLIFWC interns only got to stay for two days out of the whole process. They had been greeted with kindness from the Mole Lake com- munity and enjoyed their stay. Before the interns left Marvin left them with some humbling words. He told them all I have faith and hope for the Anishinaabe people now. I have hope for the people when I look at all of you. Those were big words to carry home and a big challenge. By Darcie Powless GLIFWC Summer Intern GLIFWC summer interns listen intently as Red Cliffs Marvin DeFoe explains the construction of a wiigwaasi-jiiman at Mole Lake last summer. Spruce roots harvested by the interns soak overnight to make them flexible for sewing the next day. The bark is sewn together using holes drilled in the wiigwaas one inch apart. Photos by Darcie Powless PAGE 23 MAZINAIGANWINTER 2015-16 The delegation also gifted the Treaty 3 Chiefs with a bagijigan bundle that consisted of blankets manoomin coffee clothing and other gifts that came from the different GLIFWC bands. The concept of gift giving is a long-standing Ojibwe tradition that displays gizhewaadiziwin kindnessgenerosity from one party to another but more importantly it reinforces kinship through clans and or other family connections. In addition an opwaagan was gifted to the Treaty 3 Chiefs as well. The opwaagan was made by Kekek Jason Stark and myself and was a gesture by us being that we are both of the Bizhiw clan to display sincerity of our intent to col- laborate a reminder of Ojibwe integrity and also providing another tool to help our relatives in all of their endeavors. I was honored to put forth my effort to create that pipe. I also was asked to speak for the bagijigan and the pipe before the Treaty 3 Chiefs accepted it. I am proud that I used our language to convey to the manidoog what took place that day. Im also excited and motivated to be given compliments for using our lan- guage by people that reside in an Ojibwe community that possesses such a high fluency rate. Also after I spoke many people greeted me with a simple phrase Boozhoo doodem.The Lynx clan has a strong presence there and hearing those words made me feel at home. Everything we experienced was the evident power of the manidoog and how truly blessed we are as Ojibwe-Anishinaabe people. Our culture is the vessel that sustainsusandourlanguageistheengine.Togethertheyareafinetunedmachine. Treaty 3 meeting Continued from page 9