Archive | July, 2010

Car Bingo at NativeFest – Honk If You Have A B•I•N•G•O!

29 Jul

Click the image above or click here to view an incredible photo slideshow with pictures from last year’s Car Bingo!

If you’ve participated before, then you know what it is all about! It’s pulling up your car like a drive-in movie, parked in the summer sunshine, waiting to mark off your first number. Then it happens – you notice that the last number called completes a straight horizontal line. You’ve won and there is only one more thing to do…


The Seminole Tribe of Florida offered the first high stakes bingo (organized Tribal gaming) in the country in 1979. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan quickly followed when they began offering high stakes bingo in the Tribal Gymnasium in 1981. The popularity of the games spread and the Tribe initiated card games like poker, black jack, and later added slot machines.

However, even before high stakes gaming, an early form of bingo started on the Isabella Reservation in the 1960’s. The Tomah Club (a social group) organized Car Bingo. People played in their cars for fundraising purposes at “The Hill.” Winners would “honk their horns” when they had a bingo, and a worker would check to see the winning card. Many other Tribes in Michigan started their gaming enterprises with Car Bingo as well.

Gaming is allowed on federal trust land reservations because of a federally-recognized Tribe’s sovereign status as a separate nation. Tribal gaming enterprises have helped many Anishinabek Tribes and their neighboring communities. Most Tribal members are now successfully employed, compared to a time when unemployment rates were as high as 75 percent. Due to the success of the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort today, the tribal membership has its own courts, police, fire, and school systems.  The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is the largest employer in Isabella County and two percent of their profits are disbursed to non-profit and governmental agencies in the county.

Now that you’ve gotten a brief history in where Car Bingo was originated – come join us at the Ziibiwing Center on Wednesday, August 4, as we fundraise for the Center by playing this classic game. Registration begins at 5pm and games will be played from 6-9pm. Cost is $10 per person and there are $5 dollar specials as well.

The Grand Prize Cover-All prize is $1,000 dollars in gift cards from our

Exclusive Sponsor, PNC Bank.

Black Ash Basketry Workshops

22 Jul

The turnout for last week’s Basketry Workshop was great. We had 23 adults attend the 4-day workshop at the Ziibiwing Center. Jennie Brown and her family taught participants how to make black ash baskets from start to finish. The workshop participants even got a chance to actually pound the black ash log and pull and split the wood for their baskets. During the workshop the participants were also taught about the threat that Emerald Ash Borers (insects that eat and kill Ash trees) pose to basket makers and ways they can help prevent the spread of the insect.

The Ziibiwing Center also held several daily youth workshops aside from the adult workshop. Over 220 youth participated from the summer youth programs in the Mt. Pleasant area. At the youth workshops children between the ages of 5 and 13 were taught about black ash basket making. They got a chance to pound a black ash log, split wood, make turtle bookmarks, and learn about the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer as well. The process that was used to make the turtle bookmarks was the same sort of process that one would use to start the bottom of a basket. The children were actually taught the beginning process of basket making as well.

We also held a special workshop for the Ojibwe Language Immersion students. The Immersion students are between 18 months and 3 years old. The toddlers were also taught about basket making and they too got a chance to pound a log and learn a little bit about the Emerald Ash Borer. Each toddler was shown how to make splint animals which they got to enjoy and color when they were done. Overall, the workshops were great! We appreciate all the participants who came and hope you all had fun.

This program was funded by the Saginaw Chippewa Planning Department, through a BIA Self-Determination Emerald Ash Borer grant for, “Education & Outreach Demonstration for Basket Makers”.


Background of the Seven Teachings

15 Jul

According to the aadizookaan (traditional story), the teachings were given to the Anishinabe early in their history. Seven Grandfathers asked their messenger to take a survey of the human condition. At that time the human condition was not very good. Eventually in his quest, the messenger came across a child. After receiving approval from the Seven Grandfathers, he tutored the child in the “Good Way of Life”. Before departing from the Seven Grandfathers, each of the Grandfathers instructed the child with a principle.


“Nibwaakaawin”—To cherish knowledge is to know Wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people. In the Anishinabemowin language, this word expresses not only “wisdom,” but “prudence” and “intelligence.” In some communities, “Gikendaasowin” is used.

“Zaagidwin”—To know Love is to know peace. Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most. In some communities, “Gizhaawenidiwin” is used, which in most contexts means “jealousy” but in this context is translated as either “love” or “zeal”.

“Manaadjitowaawin”—To honor all Creation is to have Respect. All of Creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected. Some communities instead use “Ozhibwaadenindiwin” or “Manazoonidiwin”.

“Aakodewin”—Bravery is to face the foe with integrity. In the Anishinabemowin language, this word literally means “state of having a fearless heart,” to do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant. Some communities instead use either “Zoongadikiwin” (state of having a strong casing) or “Zoongide’ewin” (state of having a strong heart).

“Gwekowaadiziwin”—Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave. Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others. In the Anishinabemowin language, this word can also mean “righteousness.”

“Dibaadendizowin”—Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of Creation. In the Anishinabemowin language, this word can also mean “compassion.” You are equal to others, but you are not better. Some communities instead express this with “Bekaadiziwin”, which in addition to “humility” can also be translated as “calmness,” “meekness,” “gentility” or “patience.”

“Debwewin”—Truth is to know all of these things. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.


7 Jul - Customize and Share your images

American Indian Dance shows every Saturday in July

7 Jul

American Indian Dances

Come join us for the American Indian Dance shows in July. This month there will be different American Indian Dance shows held at the Ziibiwing Center each Saturday. The dance shows are free and open to the public. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the beautiful styles of dance.There will also be a one day only book signing by Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Member, Elder, and Author – Simon Otto on July 31 at 1pm, 3pm.

All dance shows are at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm

July 3

Men & Women’s Traditional Dances

The men’s traditional dance tells the story of creation, combat, and hunting. The women’s traditional dance honors the connection women share with the earth.

This weekend – July 10

Men’s Grass & Women’s Jingle Dances

Long ago, the men’s grass dancers were responsible for preparing a ceremonial clearing through dance. This form of dance represents the movement of blowing grass. The women’s jingle dress was born from a young Ojibwe woman’s dream to heal her people. The dress has 365 copper cones that represent each day of the year attached to it. Each cone is filled with a prayer, and as the cones “dance” the prayers are released.

July 17

Men’s Fancy Feather & Women’s Fancy Shawl

Men’s fancy feather dancers are dressed in two multi-colored feather bustles around their neck and waist. These fancy dancers will amaze you with their high jumps, spins, and fancy footwork. Women’s Fancy Shawl is also called the “Butterfly Dance”. This dance features women dressed in intricate beadwork and matching shawls that create beauty in motion as the dancers perform dazzling footwork and spins.

July 24 & 31

Social & Hoop Dancing

The Hoop Dance creates and brings to life unique symbols and designs of nature, such as flowers, trees, animals, and birds. This style of dance visually shows our connections with the earth and all living things. Social Dances bring together people from all walks of life. The Two-Step or Rabbit Dance is a dance for couples. The Crow Hop honors the crow and the work it does to keep Mother Earth clean.

Let’s test your knowledge about American Indian culture!

7 Jul

American Indians have been credited with being North America’s first indigenous people. They had an established culture and many communities in our present-day United States (U.S.) long before Europeans came across the Atlantic Ocean. During these times, many years ago, the American Indians had been using remarkably new and advanced products that the Western settlers had never seen before. Which of these “inventions” is not an American Indian innovation?

a.)   Rubber

b.)  Popcorn

c.)  Kayak

d.)  Pencil

e.)   Jerky

Here is another question for you!

Which State’s name is not of American Indian origin?

a.)   Connecticut

b.)  Kentucky

c.)  Minnesota

d.)  Pennsylvania

e.)   Texas


The correct answers are posted in the “Let’s Explore” section.