Mary Annette Pember: Ojibwe women return to sacred island

The Madeline Island Jingle Dress Project was recently unveiled on Mooningwaanikaaning in Wisconsin. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember reports from the one of the most sacred places in Ojibwe history:
November is National Native American Heritage Month. Beyond a vague, feel-good notion about Pilgrims and Indians sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, however, Indian Country and Native peoples are invisible to most Americans.

“Native people simply don’t exist in the world they see in front of them every day,” said Barbara With, a non-Native woman who lives on Madeline Island in Wisconsin.

Business manager for a local arts center and longtime advocate for social and racial justice, With decided to help change that in her community, by working in collaboration with community members to elevate the history and significance of Native people to Madeline Island. She found that Native and non-Native people were interested in helping to “build a bridge back to the island for Ojibwe people.”

“We can’t know people if we don’t understand their history and stories,” she said.

Now known as Madeline Island, Mooningwaanikaaning (the place of the yellow-breasted flickers) is the largest of the Apostle Islands located in the Wisconsin area of Lake Superior.

For most visitors, the quiet, picturesque little island’s history and place in Ojibwe culture is a distant bit of obscure knowledge. The significance in Ojibwe culture of Mooningwaanikaaning cannot be overstated.

Read More on the Story
Mary Annette Pember: Native American Heritage Month Began Before November for This Wisconsin Community (Rewire.News November 15, 2018)

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