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LCOOU New Extension Director’s Beading Comes Full Circle

LCOOU

Press Release


Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University recently welcomed Ramona “Madwe We Gezhigookwe” Morrow as the new Extension Director. She is a Native American Artist who is up for a good laugh, carries herself elegantly, and speaks humbly of her many accomplishments.


Her mother raised her in California; however, during middle school summers and onwards, Ramona’s mother sent her and her siblings to Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) to stay with their grandmother.


“My grandmother was always open to having an extra hand with the beading work she had lying on the tables,” Ramona said.


She attended the University back when we were still a community college to earn her associate degree in nursing, but she also took a Beading (I) class where she beaded a bag. She fell in love with the art and continued practicing it throughout her nursing and Native American studies degrees. When she started teaching Beading (I) at the University in 2017, she presented her students with that same bag project she’d undertook as an undergraduate herself.


Over her thirty-year art career, Ramona became widely known for “The Cattail Collection,” for which she uses the cattails of the LCO area. To date, she’d created 213 dolls, 51 horses, and three buffalos. Her art has travelled as far as Austria and has even made it to the White House.


Despite the fame of “The Cattails Collection,” the art piece Ramona’s most fond of is the “Seventh Generation Bag.” Made of buckskin, the bag features the beaded faces of ancestors high up in the Northern Lights. An eye lingers below the clouds, and inside of it are the beaded children who have yet to be born. Ramona showcased the beaded bag at Duluth’s American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) last year.


Her recent artistic admirations include Dana Warrington and Anthony Buckanaga’s work. Dana hosted a porcupine quill workshop at the University last year. Ramona took workdays off to attend the workshop in its entirety. Anthony is one of our current evening instructors for Extension. He has been holding beginner-level workshops for sewing, applique, beading circle, Ojibwe floral acrylic paintings, and other arts and crafts. Renowned Native American artists like Dana and Anthony are what Ramona is hoping to bring more of to LCOOU in her capacity of our Extension Director.


In her address to the campus and the surrounding communities, Ramona said, “Welcome back to LCOOU’s Extension program! If you’d like to see any programs we might not yet have, please let us know about that through Facebook or via email.”

 

 

About Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University’s mission is to provide Anishinaabe communities with post-secondary and continuing education while advancing the language, culture, and history of the Ojibwe.

 

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU) is a non-profit Ojibwe tribal college. We are an open-door institution that is proud to serve American Indian students. LCOOU welcomes non-native students and celebrates a diverse student population at all of our locations.

 

Learn more at http://lco.edu 

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