On a hot Wednesday evening, a team made up of AICHO staff and Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin families came together to collectively run and walk 20 miles. Each step they took was a prayer to heal themselves as Indigenous people and stand in solidarity against racism and hatred directed towards Ojibwe people throughout Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Their steps contributed towards the solidarity relay called The Healing Circle Run organized by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
The Healing Circle Run began in 1989 as a response to the escalated animosity towards Ojibwe people brought on by protests against tribes reasserting hunting, fishing, and gathering rights in the Ojibwe ceded territories of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The seven-day relay is a collective prayer to bring healing to participants, their families, reservations, the communities they pass through, the nation and the earth. Runners endure the long journey under the summer sun and heat, persevering through exhaustion. It is a sacrifice runners make to heal their loved ones and communities suffering from addiction, violence and untreated intergenerational, historical trauma.
The relay route connects 10 Ojibwe nations including Lac Du Flambeau, Mole Lake, Lac Vieux Desert, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Bad River, Red Cliff, Fond du Lac, Mille Lacs, St. Croix, and Lac Courte Oreilles, covering 600 miles. AICHO pledged and completed 20 miles on July 13, 2022, the fifth day of the relay in South Superior.
The Native Americans into Medicine summer program took a tour at AICHO to learn more about AICHO’s missions, priorities and community initiatives to address and advocate for health justice and access in our communities on July 13, 2022
The Native Americans into Medicine summer program is a six-week summer enrichment program for undergraduate students pursing careers in health and medicine through the University of Minnesota.
The students learned about AICHO programming from Co-Executive Director LeAnn Littlewolf, the Indigenous First Gift Shop from Khayman Goodsky, and AICHO Galleries and Cultural Arts programming from Ivy Vainio. Miigwech NAM for visiting AICHO!
Youth learned to make traditional Anishinaabe wild rice poles through AICHO’s Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin: Together We Grow Youth Program.
Through this hands-on workshop, guided by Michaa Aubid (East Lake Anishinaabe) and Veronica Skinaway (Sandy Lake Anishinaabe), program participants learned the importance of treaty rights, how to operate power tools and how to knock rice with rice knockers. This knowledge is important when participating in the wild rice harvest, called manoominike in Anishinaabemowin.
If we are to preserve culture, we must continue to create it.” - Johan Huizing, historian
Last year, the program youth learned how to make wild rice knockers in a workshop taught by 1854 Treaty Authority, passing harvesting knowledge to the youth. In September, the Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin program will participate in the annual manoominike with Ron Willis, under the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College CYFAR Grant activity.
AICHO says miigwech to Michaa Aubid and Veronica Skinaway for teaching our program youth and staff about manoominike, the Anishinaabe words connected to harvesting rice and for allowing our youth to make ricing poles.
Miigwech to AICHO staff Ivy Vainio for coordinating this cultural activity with assistance from Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin program coordinator Kayla Jackson, Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin Children’s Program coordinator Mia Menendez and Cheryl Stone and AICHO’s property caretaker Scott Thompson.
This event was funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division.
To learn about medicinal properties of various Indigenous plant infusions, Anishinaabe food and traditions, AICHO youth visited the Native Wise LLC farm on the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe Reservation on June 30, 2022
David and Patra Wise fo Native Wise LLC guided youth from both the Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin: Together We Grow Youth Program and Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin Children’s Program came together in making a salve. Youth chose two Indigenous plant infusions to make into salves.
David took the group on a nature walk and introduced numerous Indigenous plants they walked past and explained the traditional uses of the plants.
After the walk, the group ate smoked moose sausage with jalepeño and cheese, all made on the farm, wild rice hotdish made with moose meat and home processed beef burger.
Such a wonderful time for everyone, especially our youth who were connected to Anishinaabeg cultural foods, plants, traditions, stories, and wisdom. We are grateful.
Miigwech to Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin program coordinator Kayla Jackson and AICHO staff Ivy Vainio for organizing the field trip, and miigwech to Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin Children’s Program coordinators Mia Menendez and Cheryl Stone and intern Ellie Waring for assisting. Photo by Channing Powers, 10 year-old Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin program participant.
Programs are funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division, Northland Foundation, United Way, Sheltering Arms Child Development and Family Support, and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.
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