Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New slide show, videos of Calumet Heritage Celebration

By Michele Bourdieu

Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Veterans Honor Guard present the colors to begin the Calumet Heritage Celebration on Aug. 15, 2011, in Calumet's Keweenaw Heritage Center (formerly St. Anne's Church).
Sponsored by Main Street Calumet, the annual Heritage Celebration highlights a particular ethnic group each year. The 2011 event featured the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwa) cultural heritage. Erik Awonohopay of Eagle Radio leads his drum group in a Native American Honor Song. Standing at far right is Warren C. Swartz, Jr., President of the KBIC Tribal Council. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)*

CALUMET -- Keweenaw Now attended some of the events celebrating Calumet Heritage last week. If you haven't yet checked it out, see our slide show of the Aug. 15, 18 and 20 events: the Calumet Heritage Celebration in the Keweenaw Heritage Center, the Red Metal Radio Show in the Calumet Theatre, and the Heritage Celebration in Agassiz Park featuring the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Dance Troupe.*

This year Main Street Calumet's Heritage Celebration honored especially the Ojibwa culture in the area.

Susan LaFernier, KBIC Tribal Council secretary, spoke on Aug. 15 at the Keweenaw Heritage Center, giving an overview of the history of the tribe since 1800. She spoke about the 19th-century treaties under which the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) of the Great Lakes region ceded their lands to the U.S. Government, the tribe's Constitution, many tribal social services, efforts to protect and preserve natural resources, and recent job creation.

LaFernier was also present at the Aug. 20 Heritage Celebration in Agassiz Park.

During the 2011 Calumet Heritage Celebration on Aug. 20 honoring especially the Ojibwa culture, Susan LaFernier, KBIC Tribal Council secretary, spoke with Keweenaw Now following the performance by the KBIC Dance Troupe in Calumet's Agassiz Park. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"I'm very overwhelmed," LaFernier said. "I didn't realize that Heritage Days was such a huge event. It's absolutely wonderful! I know that the entire tribe has been looking forward to the event for a few months now, and I know that everyone from KBIC here today is enjoying visiting with our neighbors. I'd like to thank Main Street Calumet and the other organizers. Miigwetch!"**

Here are some video clips from the week of celebration:

Heritage Celebration honors Ojibwa culture at Keweenaw Heritage Center



Keweenaw Bay Indian Community members Nicole Eagle and her brother, E Halverson, harmonize on a song written by E -- concluding the opening event of the Calumet Heritage Celebration Aug. 15, 2011, in the Keweenaw Heritage Center (former St. Anne's Church) in Calumet. See slide show for photos and details of this event. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)

KBIC Dance Troupe performs at Heritage Celebration in Agassiz Park



At the Calumet Heritage Celebration Aug. 20, 2011, in Agassiz Park, members of the KBIC Dance Troupe perform a Men's Traditional Dance. Erik Owonohopay of Eagle Radio is the master of ceremonies and leads the "Summer Cloud" drum group in accompanying the dancers.



Young women from the KBIC Dance Troupe perform the Women's Fancy Shawl Dance during the Calumet Heritage Celebration Aug. 20, 2011, in Agassiz Park. Women and girls of all ages can do the Shawl Dance. They wear colorful, elaborate regalia with a skirt and a beaded or sequined vest. A long fringed shawl is worn over the shoulders and held out at the elbows. Movements include fine footwork and fast spins, meant to mimic a joyful butterfly.

Red Metal Radio Show



Doug Bacon on banjo and vocalist Melissa Lewis perform "Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet" during the Aug. 18, 2011, Red Metal Radio Show in the Calumet Theatre. The historic show, featuring songs from the early 20th century, was broadcast on Eagle Radio and was a part of the 2011 Calumet Heritage Celebration. Co-hosts Oren Tikkanen and Kris Kyro Johnson introduce the singing duo, while Dave Bezotte accompanies on piano. Stage Manager Babette Jokela waves a red flag at right to signal the beginning of the show.



The Red Metal Band and vocalist Kris Kyro Johnson perform "Alexander's Ragtime Band" during the Aug. 18, 2011, Red Metal Radio Show in the Calumet Theatre. Band members include Bob Norden, bandleader, arranger and trombone; Debra Zei, clarinet; Benjie Brotherton, trumpet; Sherrie Pellegrini, drums; and Roger Laub, tuba. ***

Notes:

* Click here to see more photos, with captions, in our slide show on the 2011 Calumet Heritage Celebration.

** Miigwetch means "Thank you" in Ojibwa.

*** Click here to see more Keweenaw Now video clips of these and other local events on our Keweenaw News YouTube channel.

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