Preserving Ojibwe Culture for Our Children

Since 1951, tourists from all over the world have gathered on the Lac du  Flambeau Chippewa Reservation in Wisconsin to watch Tribal Members dance  and sing at the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Indian Bowl.

In 1965, one of the visitors was President Dwight Eisenhower! In a naming ceremony, the Tribe honored President Eisenhower with the Ojibwe name Giniw-Wi-Giizhig, or Golden Eagle. After 60 years, the Indian Bowl amphitheater is no longer usable and must be rebuilt. The new Indian Bowl facility will include a beautiful Living Arts & Culture Center.

You can help preserve a vital piece of Native American culture with a contribution to this important project. The Indian Bowl has been the premier cultural attraction of the Wisconsin Northwoods for decades. The new Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl will help ensure that our children learn their culture and way of life– proud to be Ojibwe.

On November 2, 2015, a Ground Blessing ceremony was held to give thanks and seek blessings for the facility. In spring of 2016, construction will continue on Phase One of the Indian Bowl — the Pow Wow grounds and amphitheater. The new facility will be open in time for the traditional Fourth of July Parade, Pow Wow and Fireworks Display. The project will combine the new Indian Bowl with the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum and the Woodland Indian Arts Center.  Also, the Waswagoning Re-Created Ojibwe Indian Village will be rebuilt on the grounds of the Indian Bowl.

The Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl is unique because of the twice-weekly pow wows that will take place during the summer season (May through  September). In today’s world, it’s a challenge for young people to maintain their culture and traditions, their pride of belonging, which is so important to maintaining a positive self-image. This is especially true of the 860 Ojibwe children who live on or near the Lac du Flambeau Reservation.

For these children, the Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl will continue to be an important part of the practice and preservation of the traditions and culture of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe. The amphitheater will restore the venue for traditional pow wows  and drum-group singing. The Living Arts & Culture Center will provide an enhanced venue for teaching traditional arts and crafts and music.

 Ojibwe father and daughter celebrate at the Lac du Flambeau Indian Bowl (Courtesy Dean Hall/Lakeland Times)

Ojibwe father and daughter celebrate at the Lac du Flambeau Indian Bowl (Courtesy Dean Hall/Lakeland Times)

Maintaining the Historic Powwow Grounds

The Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl will be an important part of the practice and preservation of the traditions and culture of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe. The amphitheater will restore the venue for traditional dance, pow wows and drum-group singing. The enhanced cultural facility will provide a better venue for learning the history and culture of the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe. The re-opening of the Indian Bowl will be a boon to tourism in the Northwoods community.

Each year during the tourist season of May to September, thousands of tourists visit the Lac du Flambeau Reservation and surrounding community. In previous years, tourists have enjoyed visiting the Lac du Flambeau Reservation and the Tribe’s unique events and attractions. Travelers from around the world will enjoy the “new and improved” Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts & Culture Center.

The new Indian Bowl will give school children, local families, and tourists from all over the world the opportunity to learn Native American culture and traditions. The teachings of the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe way of life will take into account the Wisconsin curriculum for Native American studies. In the Living Arts & Culture Center, visitors will have a chance to watch craft demonstrations and to participate in arts and crafts workshops such as birch bark basketry and dance regalia making. In the Cultural Center retail shop, visitors will be able to purchase authentic Ojibwe arts and crafts, and books on Ojibwe history and culture.

With the opening of the new Indian Bowl, the complex will continue to be the premier cultural tourism attraction of the Wisconsin Northwoods.

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A historic photo of dancers at the Indian Bowl in the 1950s. (Courtesy George W. Brown, Jr. Museum)

At the new Indian Bowl, we will continue to celebrate and share our culture and traditions with the general public. (Courtesy Courtesy Meyer Group Architecture)

At the new Indian Bowl, we will continue to celebrate and share our culture and traditions with the general public. (Courtesy Meyer Group Architecture)