Upcoming workshop available through NMU Beaumier Heritage Center

Lucy Hough

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, the Center for Native American Studies is holding a a workshop on how to make birch bark trivets.

The workshop will be held by Anishinaabe elder Elizabeth Kimewon, on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3. The deadline to register is 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29.

“It is an honor to have an elder who is a traditional culture bearer here on the NMU campus,” said the Center of Native American Studies April Lindala. “She is also fluent in Anishinaabemowin so that is an additional bonus to hosting her at NMU as she will also include language lessons with her art workshop.”

The birch bark, or wiigwaas, trivets are made from natural materials, including birch bark, sweetgrass and porcupine quills. These materials are provided to participants as a part of the class fee, which is $2 for NMU students, $5 for other students and $10 for the general public.

“I know from personal experience it is not easy working with quills,” Lindala said. “You have to treat them with respect.”

This workshop is being presented in collaboration with the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center’s U.P. Folklife Festival.

“We try to co-sponsor events as a way to extend our combined resources to bring Anishinaabeg culture to campus,” said Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center director Dan Truckey.

Kimewon requested that the workshop be spread over two days because the artwork is intricate in design. Lindala was familiar with Kimewon because she participated in the creating and learning art in native settings projects last summer.

“She was so kind to others and she has a delightful sense of humor,” Lindala said. “The participants and staff really enjoyed working with her. Upon talking to Dan, I knew I wanted to recommend her for something on campus for our NMU students.”

The first day of the workshop will take place from 1 to 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2 and the second day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3.

Both days of the workshop will take place in Beaumier Center in Cohodas Hall. To register, call (906) 227-1219 or e-mail [email protected].