Jan 18

Snow Snake Carving Workshop Next Week! Healthy Communities Forum TONIGHT!

Greetings, friends!  I hope you are enjoying the beautiful snowflakes that have been falling today!

Thanks to everyone that braved the cold weather to join us this past Tuesday as we gathered to watch “First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language.”  This wonderful documentary showing was made all the more exciting by the presence of Kim Anderson, who teaches 1st through 3rd grade at Niigaane Immersion School on the Bug O Nay Ge Shig school campus.

We started our evening by watching “First Speakers,” which focused on Ojibwe language revitalization efforts and the important connection that the Ojibwe language has with culture.  This hour-long documentary is available for online viewing as well, and you can watch it here.

After the documentary, Kim gave a presentation that further elaborated on the important role that Niigaane and immersion schools play in Ojibwe language revitalization efforts.  Hearing Kim speak about her own personal journey in reconnecting with the Ojibwe language was very moving, and helped us all realize just how interconnected language is with who we are as people.  It has a profound effect on the way that we perceive the world – including our relationship to the environment.

I would like to thank Kim for all that she shared on Tuesday, and also Leslie Harper, our other invited guest who was unfortunately unable to attend.  We heard much about Leslie’s work as the director of Niigaane in the “First Speakers” documentary, and it is clear that the passion and hard work of Niigaane’s staff is directly linked to the success of their immersion program.

Tuesday night’s reflection on language, culture, and sustainability was another way that we wanted to celebrate indigenous knowledge in this month of January.  Our line-up continues next week with a fun, hands-on workshop where we will be making snow snakes, used in a traditional Ojibwe winter game.

Please join us for our Snow Snake Carving Workshop on Tuesday, January 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Rail River Folk School!

This is a great event for families, youth, and all community members who are interested in learning how to carve their own snow snakes, and would like to hear the story that goes with this winter Ojibwe tradition!

As I mentioned last week, here are some more details about what to bring if you are interested in going home with your own snow snake:

Participants who would like to carve their own snow snake during the session should bring a round, straight piece of wood, ideally 2-3 inches across and anywhere from 3 to 6 feet long.  Bob has suggested that wood from a live sapling is the easiest to work with, but dry wood picked up from the ground will also work.  Ash, oak, birch, maple, basswood, poplar, pine, or just about anything will work.  Denser, harder types of wood will work best for distance throwing.  Softer types may not go far, but the traditional game does not count on distance.

Bob will be bringing tools, but if you would like to work with your own, you may want to bring a draw knife, wood rasp or sure form, and sand paper (from coarse to very fine).

In early March, there will be a snow snake throwing competition held on Bemidji State University’s campus!  Come and get yours ready to go at next week’s Sustainable Tuesdays!

Also, don’t forget to register for our upcoming Native Foods Cooking Class with Black Sheep Chefs!  The class is on Tuesday, January 29th from 5:30 to 7:30pm.  Registration is $20, and you can register by emailing Caitlyn at cschuchhardt@bemidjistate.edu or calling 755-3765.

TONIGHT!  Healthy Community Forum from 5-7pm at the Hampton Inn!

From the Active Living Bemidji facebook page: “The North Country State Health Improvement Program will host a Healthy Community Forum from 5-7 p.m. on  Jan. 18 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Bemidji. This forum will highlight the progress the Bemidji area is making when it comes to encourage walking and biking, providing access to healthy foods in schools and the community, and creating a smoke-free environment and also highlight what more needs to be done.

The event includes a dinner and is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to RSVP for the event at http://bemidjihealthycommunityforum.eventbrite.com/

 Looking ahead to this weekend:

  • There are a lot of events coming up this week!  Brrrmidji’s Polar Daze events kick off this weekend, so be sure to check out the schedule events! Click here for more details!
  • This Saturday, January 19th is the gala film premiere of “Bemidji: the Middle Years” (7pm at the Historic Chief Theater).  This is a great opportunity to learn more about Bemidji’s history and community.  For more information, check out the Beltrami Historical Society!

As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.

For more information, contact Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.

With peace,