Sunday, October 23, 2016

Visiting artist Sarah Hewitt to present lecture "She Vows" Oct. 25 in Rozsa

EmpressSyracuse2, by Sarah Hewett. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center and Michigan Tech's Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) will present a lecture by visiting artist Sarah Hewitt titled "She Vows," at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Rozsa Lower Level atrium. Hewitt’s exhibit Flats and Rounds, which opened Sept. 30, is on display in the Rozsa A-Space Gallery, through Nov. 18. Hewitt has also created a weaving installation on-site, in the Rozsa Lobby through Wednesday, Oct. 26.

The lecture, installation, and gallery exhibition are free and open to the public. A-Space Gallery and Rozsa Lobby hours are M - F 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Saturday 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. This lecture is presented as part of the VanEvera Distinguished Lecture Series.

According to VPA Assistant Professor and A-Space gallery manager Lisa Gordillo, "Hewitt’s works and manifesto, SHE VOWS, question old-school boundaries established by the art intelligentsia. Hewitt weaves and cuts into these "classifications." She has willingly and handily accepted the term "hybrid." Using laborious handcrafts, sacred rituals, mass-produced materials, and vivid colors the artist leads us into a conversation about art/craft/feminism/gender and sexuality. Hewitt is about the rise of the feminine and honoring our matri/patrilineal lines."

Sarah Hewitt is an artist who currently lives in New York but calls northern New Mexico and mid-coast Maine home. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country. Upcoming exhibitions include Kindred Beasts at the Everson Museum, and Flats and Rounds. Hewitt has received awards and residencies from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, Purchase College/SUNY, Quimby Colony and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Hewitt describes her work this way:

She vows
To make plastic art
Redefine plastic art
To make you love plastic art
To challenge and bewitch you with what you think is formal or plastic
To make you bow to her craft
Redefine craft

To weave
To weave your mind
To weave your mind into confusion
To drag you into the sacred without your consent

Friday, October 21, 2016

Keweenaw Moments: NWC Announces 2016 Photo Contest winners

Thunder Spray by Dennis Hake of Brownstown, Mich. This photo won First Place in the North Woods Conservancy's 2016 photo contest. "I shot this scene after a beautiful afternoon walk on the beach from 5-mile point to 7-mile point," Hake says. "It was a sublime experience that everyone should have the chance to experience." (Photo © Dennis Hake and courtesy North Woods Conservancy)

From North Woods Conservancy (NWC):

The winners of the North Woods Conservancy’s 2016 "Get to Know the North Woods" photo contest have been selected! First, Second, and Third Place, plus an Honorary Category, were selected by Harvey Desnick, a well-known Keweenaw wildflower photographer.

Desnick says, "Photography is the ‘Art of the Moment’! Several things make for a great photo. Ask yourself...Is it a moment? Have I captured something that creates that feeling of wishing to have been there at that moment when the photo was taken? When you have captured one [of] those moments, your work may not be done. I look for good composition and balance. As in art, does it draw my eye around the image in a comfortable flow? Are horizons justified? Is the image pleasingly sharp and the color natural?"*

Autumn Begins, by Dennis Hake. This photo of red maple, pine, and white birch took Second Place in this year's North Woods Conservancy photo contest. (Photo © Dennis Hake and courtesy North Woods Conservancy)

Winners in the contest were asked these two questions: What draws you to the Keweenaw? What do you like most?

Dennis Hake, who took both First and Second Place, says, "I've always been attracted to the natural world, being fascinated by the myriad interconnections of life, climate and topography, and especially attracted to the wilder places. … With the decline of mining and industry, and the growth of tourism, the Keweenaw has reinvented itself as a semi-wilderness, with many, many wild and scenic vistas, the most compelling of which is Lake Superior. The wild character of the Lake, its many moods, the ever changing light, the seemingly remote 'out on the edge' nature of it is very appealing to us. And, of course, the micro-climate that it produces, the cool, damp air, makes the conifer forests of the Keweenaw possible."

Hake notes also his love of the many "sublime" water views of Lake Superior.

"The highly varied geology is so extensive and fascinating," he adds. "Natural preserves such as the North Woods Conservancy, or the Michigan Nature Association and their Estivant Pines preserve are very attractive. It is somewhat difficult to convey to others, one's attraction to the 'Lonesome Places' on our planet. Perhaps it's a wish to harken back to an earlier, simpler time."

Driftwood Beach, by Eric Stewart of Granville, Ohio, is the third-place winner in NWC's 2016 photo contest. Stewart says, "I was struck by the tranquility, the beauty of the sand and the water and ….the accumulation of driftwood. It seemed like this is a regional warehouse for the big lake's store of driftwood, waiting to be shipped out to individual beaches up and down the coast as needed." (Photo © Eric Stewart and courtesy NWC)

Third-place winner Eric Stewart also notes the attraction of Lake Superior.

"I've been vacationing in the UP my whole life," Stewart says. "I love the history, the people, the variety of landscapes and the wonderful food and beer on offer there, but the biggest draw is the most obvious one:  Lake Superior.  I've seen the lake from Lake Superior Provincial Park to Grand Marais, Minn., to Isle Royale and I've crossed it on the Queen, on a sailboat and in an airplane; but there is something special to me about Lake Superior in the Keweenaw.  … It's when I'm coming down M-26 into Eagle River or down the cutoff road into Eagle Harbor and get that first glimpse of 'my lake' that I know I'm home."

Searching the Cosmos, by Quinn Kaspriak of Cadillac, Mich. This photo, which won the Honorary Category prize, "was inspired by a friend who noticed that the light from his flashlight was very visible with all of the mist in the air from the Lake Superior waves.," says Kaspriak. (Photo © Quinn Kaspriak and courtesy NWC)

"Having a beautiful place with so much natural beauty to escape to and enjoy is what draws me to the Keweenaw," says Quinn Kaspriak. "What I love the most about the Keweenaw is the many forms of natural beauty in one place. Being able to enjoy Lake Superior, waterfalls, mountains, and the northern lights all in one place makes it very special to me."

Starting October 22nd, Copper Country Associated Artists will host a window exhibit at their gallery on Fifth Street in Calumet. The exhibit will feature the winning photos with the judge’s comments on each, a digital photo show of all 43 photos submitted to the contest, and selected photos taken by long time host at Seven Mile Point, Sandy Britton.

NWC’s contest is for non-professional photographers of all ages. It was designed to encourage the public to explore NWC’s five north woods Natural Areas -- and to have fun doing it by taking photographs that told a story of the photographer’s personal experience at the Natural Area visited. The photos were taken between Aug. 4, 2015, and Sept. 26, 2016. Submissions were accepted from May 31 to Sept. 26, 2016. Forty-three photos were submitted by 11 photographers. Photos were submitted from three NWC Natural Areas -- Seven Mile Point, Conglomerate Falls, and Gratiot River North. Photos from the Gratiot River County Park were accepted into and judged in an added honorary category. A double blind judging process was used in selecting the winning photos.

Prints in the exhibit were prepared for display by Paul Grathoff of North End Framing in Calumet. Submission assistance for the contest was provided by; poster design by Chris Kelley; printing by Copper Island Printing in Calumet; and coordination by John Dodge and Ruth Mohr. Many community businesses plus local and regional media organizations assisted in publicizing the contest. Expenses were covered by funding dedicated to the contest and separate from land acquisition donations. The contest itself was planned and carried out by volunteers, including the judge who donated his time.

To view all the contest entries, including the winning photos and comments by the photographers and the judge’s comments, please visit:

For information on NWC or the 3rd annual 2017 photo contest, see the NWC Web site.

* Click here for Harvey Desnick's specific comments on each of the winning photos.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New exhibit by Finnish artist Mari Rantanen to open Oct. 20 at Finlandia University Gallery

Finnish artist Mari Rantanen in her studio. Rantanen's exhibit Distance/Absence opens Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- Finnish artist Mari Rantanen’s exhibit titled Distance/Absence will be on display at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 22, 2016.

An opening reception at the gallery will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, with an artist talk beginning at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Luminous, bold, colorful and poetic, Mari Rantanen’s large-scale paintings reflect life and culture. Her art is rooted in her interest in architecture, the places people build for themselves, and the life lived in those structures. Her goal is to make the visible more visible and to give form and color to that which is not visible. Her exploration of the history and presence of visual culture, of systems and patterns both seen and unseen and the interpretation of cultural experience fill her paintings with emotional resonance.

Distance-absence #6, by Mari Rantanen. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

"Through the painting process I want to create surfaces that express the more positive side of life, hope and joy, surfaces that are sensual," says Rantanen. "I want to capture the light and give body to humanity and energy. I want to paint the psychological and physical experience that comes about when something is there and is not there at the same time."

Interested in the different systems and structures that humans create for themselves, Rantanen explores the relationship between order and chaos.

"I want to organize chaos and to disturb order in my work," notes Rantanen. "I have a desire to say many things at the same time. What really matters is how well I can combine the languages of the painting and juxtapose them. It reflects our pluralist culture. There is no one truth anymore. Instead there are many parallel and layered truths. I want to make paintings that tell a story, have a narrative."

Scandinavian concretism has had a deep impact on Rantanen’s work as has American abstract geometric painting, including the early minimalist works of Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly.

"My work is a meeting ground for the intellectual thinking process and my emotional attitude towards it," says Rantanen. "The completed work has to satisfy both my intellectual and emotional needs."

Distance-absence -longing, 2015, by Mari Rantanen. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Rantanen attended the School of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland, and Pratt Institute in New York City and served as Professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm from 1996-2005. She has had numerous solo exhibits throughout Scandinavia, Europe and the United States and is in the collections of notable institutions including the Kaisma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, the State of Finland and numerous municipal and corporate collections.

She has been commissioned to create large-scale public works and she has received awards for excellence including the Honorary Prize of Paul Hedqvist Foundation, Sweden in 2012.

Rantanen now lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden, New York City and Tammela, Finland.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 906-487-7500.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Carnegie Museum to present Jill Fisher on "Michigan's Forest Primeval" Oct. 18

The Carnegie Museum will host Jill Fisher, botanist and forest ecologist, who now works for Michigan Tech's Graduate School, for "Michigan's Forest Primeval," the first presentation in the Carnegie's 2016-17 series, Natural History Seminars -- Living in the Woods: The Natural Future of the Keweenaw. (Poster courtesy Carnegie Museum)

HOUGHTON -- Botanist and forest ecologist Jill Fisher will present "Michigan's Forest Primeval," beginning at 6:30 p. m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton. This event will set the stage for the Carnegie's 2016-17 Natural History Seminars -- Living in the Woods: The Natural Future of the Keweenaw.

Refreshments and Introductions will be from 6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. The Lecture and Discussion will follow from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

"Our current forests are facing major changes in the near future, yet they have faced dramatic and wide-sweeping changes before," Fisher notes. "We will examine several questions during this seminar, including:
   - What did Michigan’s forest primeval look like before and after the famous logging era?
   - What would the woods have been like at that time?
   - What pressures were in play to log Michigan's forests and what technological advances sped their demise?          

The logging era and the legacy that followed left a dynamic mix of resiliency and altered trajectories that have become our new normal. Join us to hear some answers to these questions and, as learning of history often does, learn enough to ask even more."

The following presentations will be part of this series in November and December 2016:

Tuesday, Nov. 15 -- Dr. Erik Lilleskov, research ecologist, USDA Forest Service: "Forest Fungi and the Future"

Tuesday, Dec. 13 -- Dr. Andrew Storer, professor, Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources and  Environmental Science: "What are the Threats to Trees in our Natural Future?"

Speakers for 2017:

January 17 -- Dr. David Flaspohler, Michigan Tech
February 21 -- Melissa Hronkin, Algomah Acres Honey House
Date TBD -- Evan McDonald, Keweenaw Land Trust
Date TBD -- Panel Discussion with members of the USDA Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.

Click here to learn more about the Carnegie Museum and their exhibits and events.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Artist Bonnie Peterson's new work is on exhibit at Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

Detail: On the Nature of Fire, 65″ H x 85″ W. Embroidery on silk, velvet, by Bonnie Peterson. This is a detail of one of her textile embroideries now on exhibit at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center near Ashland, Wis. (Photos courtesy Bonnie Peterson)

ASHLAND, Wis. -- The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is hosting Michigan-based artist Bonnie Peterson’s handcrafted textile embroideries and story quilt exhibit through Dec. 12, 2016.

Peterson’s Stitching Explorations Through Time and Place exhibition consists of 12 textile embroideries and two maps that illustrate paddling, skiing and hiking trips to Lake Superior locations which include Isle Royale National Park, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Pukashwa National Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The maps, photos and stories from her journeys are transferred on to silks and satins with embroidery on velvets and brocades. The results are collages capturing Peterson's own journeys and the  expeditions of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula by Marquette and Joliet in 1673. Peterson also explores the 1880s journeys of former Raspberry Island Lighthouse Keeper Francis Jacker, who was Peterson’s great-great grand uncle.

Keweenaw, 50" H x 48" W. Heat transfers and embroidery on satin, silk, velvet and brocade, by Bonnie Peterson.

Peterson describes here the work titled "Keweenaw," which means the crossing place, or the place where we traverse a point of land on foot:

"Keweenaw waterway charts and topo maps are surrounded by red sandstone buildings and mining ruins I photographed in Houghton and Hancock, the twin cities at the bridge to the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Francis Jacker, my great great grand uncle, described Portage Lake in 1862 as he sailed from his home near Jacobsville to Raspberry Island in the Apostles where he was the lighthouse keeper."

Jacker's description makes up the text of embroidery on the border of this work: "After rounding Pilgrim's Point and skirting Dollar Bay, where Shelden's sawmill was situated, the lake narrowed rapidly and the shores rose to a greater height. Two mining towns spring into view. A medley of small houses... jumbled about as if broadcast and struggling for a foothold on the rocks. Besides the two stamp mills with their smoke-begrimed chimneys, there is not a single building of prominence or construction other than wood. The forest encroached upon the outskirts of the town in every direction." Francis Jacker, 1862.

Detail: Keweenaw, 50" H x 48" W. Heat transfers and embroidery on satin, silk, velvet and brocade, by Bonnie Peterson.

"I use embroidery to investigate cultural and environmental issues," Peterson writes in her artist's statement. "Mixing a variety of source materials such as scientific data and early explorer’s journals, I stitch words and phrases on velvet and silk fabrics to make large narrative wall hangings. My recent projects examine geophysical climate issues. Instigated by a series of collaborations with scientists, I began to look for simple explanations for some of the important principles in climate and environmental science to use in my projects. The artist/scientist interactions are invaluable for interpreting and extracting key concepts and clarifying their context and relevance."

Bonnie Peterson is pictured here with her current exhibit at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center near Ashland, Wis.

Peterson’s wilderness experiences can be seen in her works, too. Lengthy trips are woven into displays which show impacts of wilderness, contemporary society and historical context.

Peterson was an artist-in-residence at Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Isle Royale and Crater Lake National Parks. Her work is in the collection of the New York City Museum of Art and Design and in private collections.

Detail: Chicago Portage, 65 H x 68 W. Embroidery and heat transfers on satin, velvet and brocade, stitched, by Bonnie Peterson. The story of Marquette and Joliet's historic 1673 exploration of Wisconsin and Illinois, is embroidered and surrounds early Lake Michigan maps. The French explorers used a faster way for the return part of their journey to the northern part of Lake Michigan. They carried the canoes across a portage from the Des Plaines River to the Chicago River and returned via Lake Michigan, instead of paddling up the Mississippi to the Wisconsin River, and portaging to the Fox. The outer embroidery is from Joliet's journal.

The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is located two miles west of Ashland, Wis., on U.S. Highway 2. The Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This collection can be seen in the visitor center’s gallery. It is free and open to the public.

For more information about this exhibition, please contact Linda Mittlestadt or Susan Nelson at (715) 685-9983.

The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and operated through partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin-Extension and Friends of the Center Alliance Ltd. It is open to the public at no charge with opportunities for visitors to experience human and natural history of the Chequamegon Bay region in the building and on the 180-acre grounds.

Editor's Note: See more of Bonnie Peterson's work on her Web site.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Joint Hancock-Houghton City Council Meeting to be Oct. 17

HANCOCK -- A special joint City Council Meeting of the cities of Hancock and Houghton will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at the Lake Shore Center Community Room 123, 600 E. Lake Shore Dr., Houghton, MI  49931.

The meeting will include the following:

A.    Call to order by Mayor Lisa McKenzie and Mayor Robert Backon,  Roll Call and Verification of a Quorum.
B.    Houghton Council -- Robert Backon, Robert Megowen, Craig Kurtz, Mike Needham, Rachel Lankton, Dan Salo and John Sullivan
C.    Hancock Council -- Mary Tuisku, Joe Bauman, Gregory Markkanen, Lisa McKenzie, Ted Belej, John Slivon and Ron Blau.
D.    Address The Flag


1.  Public Hearing on the 15 year MTEC SmartZone Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan Extension 2018/19 to2032/33
2.  Receive MTEC SmartZone update from Marilyn Clark, CEO,
3.  Consider motion adopting Resolutions approving the 15 year Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan by both Cities.

Motion to adjourn.

Note:  Posted this 14th day of October, 2016.
All Councilors were properly notified on 10-14-2016 at 11 a.m. and by e-mail.
18 hour minimum notice.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Keweenaw Climate Community to hold second Climate Café Oct. 13 at Orpheum Theater; large turnout at Sept. 8 event

By Michele Bourdieu

A diversified crowd of more than 80 people attended the Sept. 8, 2016, Climate Café, sponsored by the Keweenaw Climate Community (KCC) and held in the Orpheum Theater in Hancock. Besides enjoying free pizza and beverages, participants asked questions and held discussions following presentations on "What's the Deal with Climate Change? Here KCC member Linda Rulison, third from right, leads one of the small group discussions. The second event of a four-part series will be held Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Orpheum. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Climate Community (KCC) will present "What's the Deal with Climate Change? How Did We Get Here?" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Orpheum Theater (Studio Pizza), 426 Quincy St. in Hancock. This is the second in a four-part "Climate Café" series of free information and discussion events on climate change. Free pizza and soft drinks! Everyone is welcome! Donations are accepted.

This event will center on causes and impacts. Here are some questions that will be addressed:
  • How do humans impact the climate?
  • Why are we so energy dependent?
  • What choices do we have as individuals?
This slide by Sarah Green, Michigan Tech professor of chemistry, who has done extensive research on climate change, was part of her presentation at the Sept. 8, 2016, KCC Climate Café event, "What's the Deal with Climate Change?" The second event in the series, to be held on Oct. 13 at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock, will center on causes and impacts, some of which are illustrated here. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Environmental Historian Fred Quivik will give a short presentation, followed by small-group and general discussions.

September Climate Café event attracts large, diverse crowd

The KCC organizers of the series were delighted with the turnout at the first Climate Café held on Sept. 8, 2016, at the Orpheum. More than 80 people attended -- an audience diversified in age and background.

Jessie Knowlton, Michigan Tech research scientist in forestry and chair of KCC's publicity committee, said she was surprised and happy with the turnout.

"It's a nice mix of people from Michigan Tech and from the community -- which I think we need more of," Knowlton said. "We were very happy to have to order more pizza than we had anticipated."

At the Sept. 8 event, the audience enjoyed free refreshments while they wrote down a question to submit for the discussion. Following some humor by Chuck Wallace, Sarah Green, Michigan Tech professor of chemistry, who has done extensive research on climate change, involved the audience immediately with a visual comparison of heating a house in the U.P. and heating the planet. As Green asked questions of the audience, Erin Pischke, Michigan Tech graduate student and KCC member, sketched the comparison in a pair of cartoons:

Inviting audience participation, Sarah Green, Michigan Tech professor of chemistry, who has done extensive climate change research, and Michigan Tech graduate student Erin Pischke offer an illustration of how to heat a house in the U.P. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

Green and Pischke offer a comparison of heating a house and heating the planet.

Green also showed some slides illustrating some of the warming effects of climate change on land, water and ice.

This slide shows some of the effects of temperature changes. The white arrows show increases, while the black, downward arrows show decreases or melting.

Next the audience members participated in small-group discussions with people at their tables.

Suggested questions for the table discussion were these:
  • What's unclear to you about climate change?
  • What's your biggest fear about climate change
  • What information would help you talk to friends and family members about the importance of climate change?
Linda Rulison, president of FOLK (Friends of the Land of Keweenaw) and KCC member, said she found audience members to be very engaged as listeners and participants.

"The discussion with the college students I was sitting with centered around the fact that climate change is real and the consequences are serious," Rulison noted. "So they wondered, 'How does a person talk to another person about the impacts of climate change if you are talking to a person who does not agree with you and whose opinion is religion-based and not science-based?'"

Sarah Green offered some science-based answers to questions from the audience. Here she answers a question on the types of greenhouse gases:

Sarah Green compares CO2 and methane, the two biggest greenhouse gas contributors, and mentions other greenhouse gases such as freon and nitrous oxide. She also answers a question on possible ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Following the small-group table discussions, individuals spoke about what their group had talked about:

Following the table discussions, participants report on their groups' concerns.

John Forslin (who speaks in the above video) and his wife, Marge Forslin, of Marquette traveled to Hancock to participate in this event because the issue is important to them.

"We did the climate reality training with Al Gore in Iowa in 2015," Marge Forslin said.

She noted Gore was in Iowa for three days of discussion that they attended. The event was free and the only cost was personal transportation.

"Frankly, it was a life-changing event," John Forslin added.

Melissa Davis, project manager of HEET, the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team, gave an update on HEET's work in helping local residents with home insulation and HEET's project as a semi-finalist for the $5 million Georgetown Energy Prize.

Greyson Morrow of Wakefield spoke briefly about the Citizens' Climate Lobby and their efforts to work with legislators to put a price on carbon pollution.*

Finally, Kathy Halversen, Michigan Tech professor of natural resource policy and KCC organizer, asked Sarah Green to display a visual that shows the rate of global warming from the mid-19th century to 2016:

Sarah Green concludes the Sept. 8, 2016, "What's the Deal with Climate Change?" with a graphic that shows the rate of global warming from the mid-19th century to 2016. Click on YouTube icon for larger screen.

Donna Des-Jardins of Lake Linden said she liked the graphs and visuals, especially this last one. Des-Jardins said she had learned about climate issues especially while living in Florida, where she became aware of the efforts to save the Everglades.

Bill Narki of Lake Linden said he found the event interesting.

"It hit a lot of spots," Narki noted. "Polluting the air is the problem."

Sharon Levine, KCC member, also commented on the presentations and discussion.

"The presenters spoke about complicated processes and developments in a way that people could understand," Levine said. "Dynamic and interested conversations among the participants took place in small groups and continued in questions and comments people asked. I look forward to the next presentation (on Oct. 13)."**

Levine, who collected some free-will donations for KCC at the end of the event, was very pleased with the generosity of participants. The donations helped pay for the pizza.

Following the Sept. 8 Climate Café, Kathy Halversen created a Facebook page for Keweenaw Climate Community, an open group.

"Our group was created to build regional awareness of climate change and help catalyze local action to slow and respond to climate change," Halvesen posted on Sept. 9, 2016.

The third and fourth KCC Climate Café events are tentatively scheduled as follows: Nov. 3, Climate Change Solutions; and Dec. 1, Next steps, local action to slow and respond to climate change. These events will also be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater.


* Click here for info on the Wakefield Chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby.
** Originally the second KCC event was scheduled for Oct. 6, but the date was changed to Oct. 13. Click here for the event Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

UPDATED: Activist historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to speak at Michigan Tech Oct. 10

Poster announcing visit of acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. She will give a presentation, with discussion, at 5 p.m. in Michigan Tech's MUB Ballroom A. (Poster courtesy Michigan Tech University)

HOUGHTON -- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, will speak on "Settler Colonialism and the U.S. Policy of Genocide: Decolonization and Reparations" at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Michigan Tech's MUB Ballroom A. The presentation will include discussion. It is free and open to the public.

Before earning both a masters and a Ph.D. in history, Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in an Oklahoma sharecropper family. She describes her mother as "part Indian, most likely Cherokee," who, at sixteen, married her father, who was "of Scots-Irish settler heritage, eighteen, and a high school dropout who worked as a cowboy on a sprawling cattle ranch in the Osage Nation."

Dunbar-Ortiz became an activist for social justice in the 1960s in California. After the Wounded Knee siege of 1973, she began her national and international work with the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council. She has taught in Native American Studies programs and was visiting director of Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico, where she worked directly with Native communities, faculty and students in developing a research institute and a training program in economic development.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is the winner of 2015 American Book Award and the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. In this book, the word "settler" takes on a colonialist, imperialist connotation -- far from the image of the "courageous" and patriotic, often religious, pioneers so many young Americans read about in traditional school history books. An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is, as Dunbar-Ortiz describes it, "a history of the United States as experienced by the Indigenous inhabitants." Its narrative form is intended to make this book, which is extensively documented, accessible to the general reader. It is about settler colonialism, genocide and Native Americans' survival of genocide through their resistance.

The book is an eye-opening -- and shocking -- account of the injustice and cruelty against Native peoples perpetrated by political, military and religious leaders and followers. Dunbar-Ortiz describes the theft of land, resources and culture -- from government-sanctioned slaughter to illegal termination or disregard of treaties to forced assimilation inside the Indian boarding school system.

Dunbar-Ortiz seeks to create awareness of the colonial past in order to inspire Native and non-Native Americans to work toward a future in which treaties made with Indigenous Nations will be honored, their sacred sites and ancestral remains will be respected, and their history will be taught in schools.

Dunbar-Ortiz, who lives in San Francisco, is also the author or editor of seven other books.

This event is sponsored by Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Indigenous Peoples' Day Campaign Committee.*

UPDATE: KBIC, KBOCC to host Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz at noon Oct. 10

BARAGA -- The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resources Department and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) will host a presentation by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz as part of their Lunch and Learn series and the Indigenous Peoples' Day Campaign* at noon on Monday, Oct. 10. The presentation will include a lunch at KBOCC's Niiwin Akeaa Rec Facility on Beartown Road in Baraga. (Inset photo: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Photo courtesy KBIC)

Dunbar-Ortiz will present "The Doctrine of Discovery, Treaty Rights and Native Nations Sovereignty." The "Doctrine of Discovery," which Dunbar-Ortiz writes about in a chapter of her book, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, is a 15th-century papal law presumed to mandate the right of European Christian monarchies to claim non-Christian parts of the world and enslave or displace the inhabitants.

For lunch planning purposes, anyone wishing to attend this lunchtime presentation is asked to RSVP to Valoree Gagnon at

*The Indigenous People's Day Campaign is an ongoing effort to officially recognize Oct. 10 as Indigenous Peoples' Day (replacing Columbus Day). This campaign is aligned with a nationwide effort in several cities and towns throughout the country. It was launched locally by Michigan Tech's Indigenous Issues Discussion Group with the support of Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion and rapidly spread to include the larger Tech community, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and many community members from Houghton and Baraga counties.