David Connor Speaks Culture and History at LCO College
By Nicole Smith
On October 4, 2018 the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College President, Dr. Russell Swagger, welcomed guest speaker David O'Connor and audience to the American Indian Studies in Wisconsin (Act 31) presentation on September 21st at the LCOOCC Cultural Center. Freshly harvested cedar was provided for participants.
David O'Connor is a tribal member of the Bad River Ojibwe and his position with the Department of Public Instruction involves working with public schools. David spoke on the importance of knowing the definitions of culture and sovereignty and history. Cathy and Lynn Begay shared their viewpoints on the subject of Ojibwe culture, often causing a ripple of laughter at their responses.
David had the audience thinking hard as he conducted a tribal trivia online game, complete with questions such as, "How many native tribes are located in Wisconsin?"
Following a prayer by Mezinaanakwad, Dennis White, attendees shared in a feast prepared by head cook, Cynthia Tudjen. All of the foods were fresh and enjoyable such as venison, fresh vegetables from the college farm, berries, and wild rice.
The afternoon featured local artists who shared their talents and expertise with the participants including a beadwork and Pythagorean Theorem demonstration, the fashion in which the patterns of flowers multiply, by Dennis White. Lewis White demonstrated the moccasin game, an ancient traditional game.
Caryl Plaff, LCOOCC Librarian said that there are numerous resources available about Wisconsin Natives Americans on the LCOOCC Library website.
LCOOCC Library staff has been working on an Act 31 workshop, supported through funds from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Native American Enhancement for the last two years. This workshop was the final project of the grant.
Miigwech to the presenters, and special recognition to David O'Connor for sharing his knowledge of Wisconsin Native American History.