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Winter Storytelling Held at the LCO Ojibwe University


Press Release

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU) hosted the Winter Storytelling event at the Cultural Center. The night’s storytellers were Mike Migizi Sullivan, from LCO; Lisa Migiziikwe Wrazidlo, from Bad River; Haley Manidoo-makwa-ikwe Hyde, from Red Cliff; and tribal elder MaryEllen Niiyogiizhigookwe Baker, from LCO.

Baker shared stories of her upbringing and her faith in Ojibwe ways about a healthy way of life for her people. The younger ladies shared chapters of the legend of Wenabozho in Ojibwe and followed it with an English translation. The first of them ended their story at the point that the other started theirs. The storytellers also used an array of tools beyond the language, ranging from stuffed animals that served as visual aids to dramatic gestures and body movements that heightened the comedy.

“It truly was a special night. We brought in some fantastic ladies to share stories, and we couldn't be more thankful for all the help that we had from staff and community members for cooking the feast and setting up the event. We were so happy to have so many people show up to hear the stories. There's already talk of holding another session soon.  Events like this really bring us together and serve as a reminder of our mission and purpose here in our community.  Miigwech to everyone for supporting vital Anishinaabe programming such as this,” Sullivan said.

Community elders, university staff, family members, and children all attended the event. They shared comments and laughter during the preceding feast. LCOOU served a delicious array of meats, from fried fish to sweet pork to cheesy sausage to savory deer meat. Wild rice, frybread, salad greens, mashed sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese complimented the meats. Community members pitched in for desserts, sharing with everyone frosted cake, carrot cake, and cookies. A variety of cold and hot non-alcoholic beverages were on offer, too.

Attendees from diverse backgrounds sat in a big circle under the dome of the Cultural Center. Surrounded by prized and historical artifacts and murals that tell the story of the Ojibwe Nation, the attendees bonded over cheeky humor and the fleshed-out story characters. The storytellers walked away with gift blankets that the members from the University, LCO, and neighboring Ojibwe communities contributed towards.

“Miigwech to Dr. Sullivan and his storytelling team. The night was amazing. I did not know Dr. Sullivan was such a great actor and so animated. He made the stories come to life. Miigwech to all of you that worked behind the scenes to make this happen. We had a great crowd, and we laughed and cried and just had an overall amazing cultural and traditional experience. I am grateful to have been a part of it and look forward to many more times like this where we can all come together in a good way,” President Russell Swagger said.

LCOOU’s motto is “honor your past, strengthen your future.” During yesterday’s event everyone who attended—from revered elders to learning children—got to experience a piece of how we translate that motto into our day-to-day life.


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.


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