Archive | June, 2009

Ziibiwing Center in the News

30 Jun

In a little over a month the Ziibiwing Center will return some of its most valued objects that have characterized traditional Great Lakes Indian Art.  The changing exhibit, Artistic Expressions of the Great Lakes Indians first debuted on Jan. 31, 2009 and will be closing its doors on Aug. 8, 2009.  All materials that culminated this exhibit will be given back to the private collectors who own the artifacts.

Since January, visitors have been able to view beautifully constructed cultural materials such as beadwork, birchbark containers, clothing, quillwork, silk appliqué, weavings, and woodwork all dating just after contact with European settlers.

Each object featured in the Artistic Expressions of the Great Lakes Indians exhibit promotes a strong connection between Mother Earth and the Great Lakes Indians. Therefore, the artifacts in turn represent the spirituality and strong connection to the Creator in the Great Lakes Indian culture.

To learn more about the contributions made to the Artistic Expressions of the Great Lakes Indians exhibit please visit:

Time is running out! 

Visit the Artistic Expressions of the Great Lakes Indians exhibit.

The Corn Husk Maiden

24 Jun

Corn husk dolls have served as an important roll in American Indian history. The making of corn husk dolls taught the children domestic skills in beading, sewing, making moccasins, and most importantly developing their personality and role within their own community.

This past week award-winning artist Catherine Nagy Mowry of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma shared the history of the corn husk dolls and a step-by-step process on how to make them.

Do you know the story of the corn husk doll?

A long time ago one of the Three Sisters wanted to make something different, so the Creator (Great Spirit) gave her permission to do so. She began making dolls out of corn husks to roam the earth bringing brotherhood and happiness to the people. One day she made a corn husk doll that was very, very beautiful. All of the people adored her. She was friendly, playful, and very beautiful.

One day the very beautiful corn husk maiden made her way down to the river and upon looking in the river she saw her reflection. She had never seen herself before, and for the first time she saw just how beautiful she was. She began to act very differently towards the people. She would not let anyone play with her anymore because she thought she was too beautiful to be played with. If the people kept playing with her, she would become tattered and torn, losing her good looks. Being tattered and torn was something the corn husk maiden could not bear.

The Creator tried to send the corn husk maiden warnings through a messenger. When the messenger came to the Corn husk maiden for the first time he said to her, “You must let people play with you, if you do not, the Creator will punish you.”

The corn husk maiden took no heed to the messenger’s warning; she kept up her naughty behavior. The corn husk maiden still would not let the people play with her and finally one day the Creator sent the messenger to her a second time. This time the messenger was sent to punish her and he told her, “From now on you will no longer have a face.” The messenger took away her face and her punishment has been to roam the earth looking for something to do to get her face back. That is why the corn husk dolls have no face; to remind us that we are no better than anyone else. We must all be nice to each other and realize the beauty within.

Take a peek at a Petroglyph!

18 Jun

This Father’s Day the Ziibiwing Center will host the Summer Solstice Anishinabemowin Immersion Cultural Teaching & Feast and Grandmothers’ Petroglyphs Cleansing Ceremony from 11am to 3pm at the Sanilac Petroglyphs.

Do you know what a petroglyph is? Petroglyphs are etchings of artwork done by prehistoric man onto a special type of rock called sandstone. In Michigan, the Sanilac petroglyphs are the only known rock carvings made by American Indians between 300 to 1,000 years ago!  The carvings include such images as; three archers, bird tracks, animals, mythical creatures, and symbols.

The petroglyphs are a meaningful reflection of Anishinaabeg (American Indian) culture and history. Through these ancient etchings we learn about a culture from the past and help to preserve that same culture today.

Make sure to bring your parents to the Sanilac Petroglyph Cleansing Ceremony and celebrate Father’s Day through an unforgettable glimpse into American Indian culture with water teachings, medicinal plant identification, and a feast.

For more information please call 989-775-4750.

Summer Solstice Anishinabemowin Immersion Cultural Teachings & Feast and Grandmother’s Petroglyphs Cleansing Ceremony

17 Jun

Come celebrate Father’s day with the Ziibiwing Center, as we learn about, honor, and cleanse the Sanilac Petroglyphs this Sunday, June 21 from 11am-3pm.

What exactly is a Petroglyph? As I discovered recently, petroglyphs are etchings done by ancient prehistoric artists onto sandstone outcrops. In Michigan the Sanilac petroglyphs are the only known rock carvings made by American Indians between 300 to 1,000 years ago!

The Solstice Ceremony will offer a glimpse into Anishinabek teachings, culture, and language. Here are some Ojibwe phrases that you might hear at the ceremony:

  • Mii dash maampii noongwa enjimanjidiying.

            We are gathering here today to celebrate this.

  • Anishinaabeg giinwa gaa nenagaadamoowaad mii maampii egiji gidaabig.

            The Anishinaabe ancestors left this for us here on top the big flat rock.

  • Shkode chipiitendaagwaad manda bimaadziying.

            The fire is needed for the life we are living.

  • Noongwa nokomisinanig, gashwanagig, miinwaa daanisinanig kwaamdaan biish.

            Today our grandmothers, our mothers, and our daughters watch the water.

Guests can expect to see and be a part of water teachings and medicinal plant identification led by elders of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan. A feast bundle will be provided, as well as transportation to and from the ceremony from the Ziibiwing Center. Please call (989) 775-4750 to reserve shuttle seating, as it is limited. All women in attendance must wear long skirts.

So bring your lawn chair and come be a part of the Summer Solstice Anishinabemowin Immersion Cultural Teachings & Feast and Grandmother’s Petroglyph Cleansing Ceremony. This event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Journey for Forgiveness

9 Jun

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan in conjunction with the 2009 Wellbriety Journey for Forgiveness, White Bison are proud to host an observance and forum on Wednesday, June 17. The event will address the U.S. imposed Boarding School Era and promote healing in today’s Anishinabek (American Indian) culture through acceptance, awareness, and knowledge of the past to better the Anishinabek culture for the future.

The day-long journey will explore the traumatic after effects of history beginning at 7am with a Sunrise Ceremony at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Operations Building on 7070 E. Broadway. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a Three Fires Confederacy 5-mile Forgiveness Walk to the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School. At the boarding school site the program will continue with guest speakers, panel discussions, a 100 drum honor song, and Jingle Dress Healing Dance.

As the day nears an end the Seventh Generation program and Nimkee Fitness Center invite you and your family to participate in the 18th Annual Human Race, a 5K run & 1-mile Fun Run/Walk. The Human race promotes spirituality and Native American culture, as well as health and positive lifestyle for all. Registration will begin at 5:30pm and the race will begin at 6:30pm.  For more information, registration, and associated costs please visit:

To bring a close to the Journey for Forgiveness the Saginaw Indian Chippewa Tribe of Michigan invite you and your family to attend the Healing the Circle Concert with Kevin Chamberlin and special guests, ULALI. The concert will begin at 9pm, following the Human Race on the outdoor soundstage in Seventh Generation’s Woods. Seventh Generation is located at the intersection of Remus and Shepherd Roads. This event is free and open to the public.

Come be a part of the Journey for Forgiveness, June 17 from

7am – 10pm.

Learn to Make a Corn Husk Doll!

1 Jun

             Attention all youth groups! The Ziibiwing Center will soon be offering a unique opportunity to learn how to make traditional Miami corn husk dolls.

             Award-winning artist Catherine Nagy Mowry will be teaching a workshop where she will show the step-by-step process of creating corn husk dolls and clothing making. She will also be sharing traditional Miami corn husk doll stories.

            This exclusive workshop is available to youth groups with ten or more participants who must be between the ages of 5 and 15 years old. Workshops are available from June 15-19. All groups must preregister. Call 989-775-4744 to register or just stop into the Ziibiwing Center for more information.

Artist-in-Residence Workshop

1 Jun

            Award-winning artist Catherine Nagy Mowry will be bringing her extraordinary talent to the Ziibiwing Center June 15-19. She is the Ziibiwing Center’s next Artist-in-Residence and will be teaching a corn husk doll workshop.

            Catherine Nagy Mowry is from the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and has had the privilege of having her art shown at the Eiteljorg Indian Art Market. She has shared her talents through many workshops, demonstrations, and lectures throughout the Great Lakes region.

            This 5-day workshop will be held at the Ziibiwing Center from 5:30pm to 8pm. This is a great opportunity to learn the step-by-step process of creating corn husk dolls. There will also be Miami storytelling about the tradition and uniqueness of corn husk doll making.  

            Space is limited for this event and preregistration is required. You must be 18 or older for the adult corn husk workshop. Call & Register Today!

Phone: 989-775-4744  Visit for more information.