Miisaninawiind :: February 22 - 28, 2021
Boozhoo and welcome to the Miisaninawiind weekly newsletter!

The Miisaniinawind brings you important news, announcements and updates, designed specifically for the Red Cliff community. But that's not all. The weekly eNewsletter will also provide news about neighboring tribes, communities and broader issues across Indian Country that matter to you.

If you have photos, news or information you'd like to share, please email submissions to communications@redcliff-nsn.gov.

Check out our website HERE and our Facebook page HERE.

Want to receive the newsletter each week? Sign up HERE.

Red Cliff News & Updates
COVID-19 Community Updates
An up-to-date list of COVID-19 related notices and educational resources can be found on the Red Cliff website.

Tribal Departments and Programs are still offering virtual and social-distance events! Check out the Events Calendar.
Vaccine Distribution
The RCCHC is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic February 23 & 24.
Click HERE for appointment details.

Please consider getting vaccinated to protect your community!
Citizen of the Quarter: Ron DePerry
Ron DePerry has been named Citizen of the Quarter!

Ron is a Red Cliff Tribal Member, Elder, and Veteran who has served this community in a variety of ways for decades.

Ron returned to Miskwaabekong from military service in the late 1960's and began working as the Tribe's first Youth Coordinator. Ron was involved in the Teacher Corps program and received his degree from UW-Stevens Point. He worked with the First American Prevention Center and served as a resource for the Red Cliff and Bad River Indian Child Welfare Act Programs. Ron also served on the Red Cliff Tribal Council.

In 1969, Ron was involved in the eventual 1972 court decision knows as Gurnoe vs. State of Wisconsin. Ron and six other tribal members were arrested after they set nets to test the Tribe's fishing rights in Buffalo Bay. The decision was ultimately ruled in favor of the Red Cliff Tribe (and other Chippewa Tribes). Ron is the last living tribal member of that original seven who took a massive chance to protect our rights.

Recently, Ron was able to attend the opening ceremony for the Red Cliff Fish Company -- a direct application of the fishing rights Ron fought for in 1969 and the early 1970's.

Ron was instrumental in keeping many Anishinaabe cultural traditions alive -- including birch bark artistry in the 1970's (even the making of canoes!). Ron has hosted gatherings to allow people to learn the art of making Hominy Corn in the traditional way. He has also made beautiful beadwork and leather work.

Ron was nominated by Jim Pete and was honored at the Red Cliff Tribal Council Meeting on February 16.

"I hope I've made a difference for the reservation and for those generations to come," Ron said.

Ron has two daughters, Melissa (who has passed away), Alicia, and granddaughter Ariana. Ron has been married to Patsy Ruth Basina DePerry since August 1976.

We are so fortunate to have Ron as an integral part of our community. He and so many other elders have dedicated so much to forming and shaping Red Cliff. The Red Cliff Tribal Council would like to say Chi Miigwech to Ron DePerry for all you have done, and continue to do, for the Red Cliff Community.

Do you know someone who deserves to be nominated for Citizen of the Quarter? Let us know! Send nominations to secretary@redcliff-nsn.gov or call 715-779-3700.
Ron DePerry (left) and Jim Pete at the Red Cliff Tribal Council Meeting on February 16.
Wolf Hunting Remains Illegal Within
Red Cliff Reservation Boundaries
Wisconsin's February 2021 wolf harvest season is opened this week through February 28. As a reminder, the Red Cliff Tribe prohibits hunting wolves within the boundaries of the reservation and considers wolves a protected species.

The Red Cliff Reservation is a Zero Quota Area.

Per the Red Cliff Code of Laws Chapter 8 Section 6, the hunting of wolves is illegal in Miskwaabekong.
Treaty Natural Resources Set To Apply For Great Lakes Restoration Funding
Red Cliff Treaty Natural Resources will be applying for roughly $700K of funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

If awarded, Red Cliff TNR will use the funds to purchase more land back as part of its Land Repatriation efforts. Funds would also be used for the Red Cliff Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP), which addresses the protection and restoration of the unique qualities and ecosystems in Miskwaabekong. Finally, awarded funds would be used to monitor and test the area’s fish and compost for potential chemicals.

"With a growing population and limited aki (Land) base, repatriation of Red Cliff's aki is a high priority in the TNR Division and tribal government as a whole," said Chase Meierotto, Red Cliff Treaty Natural Resources Division Administrator.

A decision from GLRI on the awards is expected this coming spring.

Click HERE to learn more about the Red Cliff Treaty Natural Resources Department.
Tribal Historic Preservation Office Releases Winter Teachings Schedule
Virtual presentations set for February 26-28
The Red Cliff Tribal Historic Preservation Office is hosting this year's Winter Teachings event from February 26-28.

Presentations include Clan Teachings, Storytelling, Mitten Making, Star Knowledge, Traditional Storytelling, and Knowledge of the Lake.

Click HERE to view the full Winter Teachings schedule, including links to access each virtual presentation.

Questions can be directed to Red Cliff THPO at 715-779-3700 or via email to marvin.defoe@redcliff-nsn.gov or edwina.buffalo-reyes@redcliff-nsn.gov.

You can also view event details on the Red Cliff Facebook Page, HERE.

Red Cliff Tribal Member Joins
Race for Bayfield County Judge
Red Cliff Tribal Member Vince Kurta has declared his candidacy to become the next Bayfield County circuit court judge.

Kurta is currently serving as an assistant district attorney for Sawyer County. After earning his law license, Kurta joined the Haukaas Law Office and represented several townships in Bayfield County.

Kurta then became a staff attorney in Bad River where he handled contracts and government work.

Kurta's opponent is incumbent Judge John Anderson, who has served as Bayfield County circuit court judge since 2003.

More information about Kurta can be found HERE.

The election is set for April 6. Red Cliff and Bayfield County residents can find voting information for the April 6 election at www.myvote.wi.gov.
Election Board Applications Now Being Accepted
Applications due April 1
The Red Cliff Tribal Council is seeking seven community members to serve on the 2021 Election Board for the upcoming Red Cliff Primary and General Elections.

You must be 18 years of age, a Red Cliff Tribal Member, and eligible to vote at the Tribal Elections. The Election Board will serve both the Primary and General Elections.

If you are interested in serving on the Election Board, pick up an application at the Tribal Administration Building.

Applications need to be submitted to the front desk of the Administration Office by April 1, 2021 at 12 PM.

For more information, please contact Laura Gordon, Tribal Council Secretary at 715-779-3741 ext 2406 or via email at secretary@redcliff-nsn.gov.
The Story of Dr. Angelo and Dr. Maggie
Story and figures submitted by Tribal Elder Jim Pete
Dr. Angelo grew up in a suburb on Long Island New York. He had loving parents, was the oldest and had two brothers and sisters. He went on to become a Physician and was highly respected. Periodically, he felt different, but couldn’t quite put his hand on it. He was a little darker than his siblings, but, just thought that was part of being Italian.

One day after performing surgery on an Elderly Indian/Native American woman, he felt so connected to her, but, couldn’t quite put his hand on it. One day, he was in the lounge and picked up a paper that said about finding out your genealogy. Off the cuff, he filled out the form and sent it in. However, when the results came back, he was surprised. It said he was 95% Indian/Native American and the other 5% was a mixture. After a few days, he mentioned this to his parents, and they looked at each other and asked for Angelo to sit down, because they have a story to share.

They said when they first got married, they weren’t able to have children. They looked at a number of resources, found an ad in a local Newspaper that indicated for $65 they could buy an Indian/Native American infant from an Indian Missionary in the Dakotas. So, they went through the process, which included the official adoption. They knew someday, they would have to share with him.

Angelo was devastated and was going through many emotional reactions to this and trying to figure out what to do. He loved his parents and other family members, but, he continued to try and understand. While it was already scheduled, he decided to go this national Conference with other Physicians. As he went, he was able to see the Keynote Address was going to be done by Dr. Maggie. Dr. Maggie was a highly respected Physician, and happened to be Indian/Native American.

As he listened to Dr. Maggie share about her life, being raised in a Traditional manner, being fluent in the Anishinaabemowin, and integrating the Tradition medicines with Western medicines, he was fascinated. He was able to meet and spend time with her. He shared the news he recently found out, from his parents. He knew he was Indian/Native American, but, had no idea what, where, when, who….from!

Dr. Maggie indicated he should start with the Indian Missionary to obtain information on his mother and she would also help with his research. And so, this journey began. His parents did help with some of the information, like the location of the Missionary. They told him that his mother was sent there because she was pregnant. Her name was Angeline and when he was born, was given the name Angelo.

Dr. Angelo contacted the Missionary and was able to find out what Tribe he was from. He shared this information with Dr. Maggie. With one and a million chances, they discovered both Dr. Maggie and Dr. Angelo were from the same Tribe!

Dr. Angelo began to spend more and more time on the Reservation. At one of his visits, he met an Akiwenzii (Old Man), and as they talked, Akiwenzii said…..”Oh my boy, I knew someday you would come back home…” Dr. Angelo found out Akiwenzii was his Grandfather. He was able to learn about his family.

The more and more time Dr. Angelo spent at the Reservation, he and Dr. Maggie grew closer and closer and on a special day, were married. They became Wiigiiwagan (partners).

Dr. Angelo relocated to the Reservation to spend time with his new wife, spend time with Akiwenzii, and spend time helping his Community to heal and survive for the next 7 generations.

Do you have news, stories, artwork, or information you'd like to share in the Miisaninawiind? Send submissions to communications@redcliff-nsn.gov.
Health & Wellness
Curbside Pickup At The Red Cliff Pharmacy
The Red Cliff Pharmacy is happy to continue offering curbside pickup. Pickups are available on the hour and the half hour.

Please call the pharmacy ahead of time to let them know what time you will be arriving.

For new prescriptions or any questions, please call and talk to the pharmacist.

Become A Certified Peer Specialist
The Red Cliff Community Health Center is offering free training for community members to become a Certified Peer Specialist.

A Certified Peer Specialist is someone who has lived experience with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and has formal training to support recovery. Certified Peer Specialists are paid professionals who use their experience and training to support recovery.

Community Members interested must complete an application and pass an interview to be selected for the training.

Applications must be received by March 8, 2021. Trainings begin April 5.

Click HERE to request an application, or contact Patsy Gordon at 715-779-3741 for more information.
Artful Healing Set For March 11
The next Artful Healing virtual painting event is set for March 11 at 5:30 PM.

Please call 715-779-3741 ext 2408 to sign up!

Zoom ID: 845 676 6970
Passcode: Rc6970
Paracord Bracelet Materials Giveaway
Peer Specialist Justin Hansen from the Noojimo'iwewin Center shows us how to make a braided paracord bracelet and keychain.

On Thursday February 25 from 10 AM - 12 PM, pick up materials from the Noojimo'iwewin Center. Then follow this video as you make your own bracelet and keychain.

The Noojimo'iwewin Center is located at 37450 Water Tower Rd in Red Cliff.

Contact Justin with any questions at 715-779-3707 ext 2397.
For other Health Center information or general questions call: 715-779-3707 or Email  RCHealthCenter@redcliffhealth.org

Click HERE to visit the Red Cliff Community Health Center website.

Click HERE for COVID-19 Updates and Resources.
Family & Human Services
Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention
What is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month?
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM). This is an issue that impacts everyone - not just teens - but their parents, teachers, friends and communities as well. Together, we can raise the nation's awareness about teen dating violence and promote safe, healthy relationships.

One in four Wisconsin youth in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner through mobile devices. Two in three Wisconsin youth who were in an abusive relationship never told anyone about the abuse.

Youth stay silent about abuse because they do not know what to do. We need to educate youth about the warning signs of abuse and tell them what abuse really means.

At a time when an estimated 1 in 3 teens will experience dating violence, we all must take this opportunity to amplify our efforts and shine a spotlight on this important issue.

What is the impact of teen dating violence?
Nationwide, youth aged 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault. Studies show that approximately 10% of adolescents report being the victim of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner during the previous year. Girls are particularly vulnerable to experience violence in their relationships and are more likely to suffer long-term behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, eating disorders, and drug use.

Adolescents in abusive relationships often carry these unhealthy patterns of violence into future relationships. Indeed, children who are victimized or witness violence frequently bring this experience with them to the playground the classroom, later into teen relationships and, ultimately, they can end up the victims and perpetrators of adult intimate partner violence. 

If you or someone you know needs help and is in an abusive relationship, please know that the Red Cliff Family Violence Prevention Program Staff are here to help! We have advocates available and the help is free and confidential. You can call 715-779-3706 and ask for an advocate to talk to.
New Child Care Center Is
Hiring Child Care Staff!
The investment that has been put into this new daycare facility will impact economic development and improve the quality of life throughout our county. We are proud to say that our 4,000 square foot new construction child care center will boast 40 new child care spaces and will be located on a 1.3-acre site, located on the corner of Blueberry and Water Tower Roads.

The center is still looking to grow its childcare family. If you are a person or know a person that has a passion for working with children and would love to be part of our team, please visit www.redcliff-nsn.gov for a job description and application.
New Family Human Services Staff
Boozhoo, my name is Aubrey Defoe and I am the Family Violence Prevention Program Project/Case Assistant.

I grew up on the Red Cliff reservation and graduated from college at UW-Green Bay in 2018.

I am excited for this new journey working with the Family Violence Prevention Program and within the community!

My name is Alicia Iacutone and I am working with the Family Violence Prevention Program as a Project Coordinator/Family Advocacy Case Manager. I have been living in Washburn, Wisconsin for just over three years. I originally moved here to kayak guide with Rustic Makwa Den, then stayed because I fell in love with the area.

This is a dream position for me as it combines many of my past educational and professional experiences from education, to outreach, to recreation. I am truly excited to be here and look forward to connecting with the local community.

My name is Kathrine Gurske, and I am the new Victim of Crime Advocate for the Family Violence Prevention Program. I am originally from Ashland and have stayed in the area my whole life because I love the community and the opportunities that being so close to the water gives to us.

I am honored to be given the opportunity to be an advocate for victims, and I look forward to creating lasting partnerships with community members and organizations.
ECC Re-Opening Plan
New protocols aim to keep children, staff, families safe
Boozhoo ECC Families,
In case you've missed the news of our reopening plan: We hosted a listening session for families to review our recently released reopening plan.

You can watch a recording of listening session below.

Click HERE to access the entire Reopening Plan on our website.
ECC Transition Period Notice
To all ECC families:

It has been proven that an intentional transition period is extremely beneficial for children when entering an educational setting. Typically, children transition at the ECC when they are entering Head Start and Early Head Start if they have not previously been in our center-based program. This year, since no children have been in the center for almost a year, we decided to have all children transition upon reopening. We understand that this may be inconvenient for some families, but we feel that this is the best way to help ensure a smooth transition back into school.

Taking into consideration what is known about child development, we have developed a transition schedule that will help promote the following child outcomes:
·       Improved academic achievement
·       More positive social and emotional competencies and fewer problem behaviors
·       More Rapidly developing skills

A smooth transition makes a difference for children’s outcomes. When children are part of a quality transition process, they have an easier time and enjoy the full benefits of their education.

We look forward to having a successful transition period, during which we can help your child feel comfortable, secure, and less anxious about their return to school. Please note that any children joining us after being virtual will also be expected to follow the same transition schedule. If you are unsure as to what your child’s transition schedule is, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

If you have any questions please call 715-779-5030 Jamie ext. 2527 or Jenn ext. 2561.
Bayfield School District Weekly Updates
The Bayfield School District will be releasing
weekly updates for parents and students.

You can view the school's weekly updates on their website:

You can also find the weekly updates on the
Bayfield School District Facebook page.
Access Scholarship Opportunities
Red Cliff Community Members have access to a variety of scholarships.
Click HERE to visit the Education Department's Scholarships page.

Upcoming External Scholarship Opportunities

Northern Wisconsin Outdoor Experiential Education Scholarship
Apply by April 1st.
Click HERE for details.

Bayfield Education Association Aspiring Educator Scholarship
Click HERE for details.

10 Scholarships for 2021 Native Students
Click HERE for details.

AISES Together Towards Tomorrow T3 Scholarships
Applications now open! Click HERE for details.

Truman D. Picard Scholarship
The Truman D. Picard Scholarship Program is dedicated to the support of Native American students pursuing a higher education in Natural Resources.
Deadline March 12, 2021
Click HERE for details.

Udall Foundation Scholarship
Scholarships for Native American and Alaska Native undergraduate students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, native healthcare, and the environment.
Click HERE to learn more, find your faculty rep, and apply.
Boys and Girls Club of Gitchigami
Youth Activities Coordinator: Abe Butterfield
Boozhoo, my name is Abram Butterfield and I am the new Youth Activities coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Gitchigami.

I have been awarded the privilege of working with the youth for 2 years and was honored to accept the new role as coordinator. I aspire to continue to facilitate a safe and healthy environment for children to be able to grow and prosper and an environment where they can feel safe, comfortable, and welcomed.

As veteran of the armed forces, I was instilled with great work ethics, character, honesty, and respect and I relish at the opportunity to lead by example.
Free Meals for Club Members
The Red Cliff Boys and Girls Club continues its free meal campaign for club members through February.

Meals for Friday and Saturday are handed out at Red Cliff Food Distribution every Friday from 11 AM - 12:30 PM.

Click HERE for February's menu.

To register youth as a Boys and Girls Club Members, please call 715-779-3706 or visit the Red Cliff Boys and Girls Club webpage.
Virtual Lessons
Boys and Girls Club staff have created Virtual Daily Lessons for youth to follow while the Club is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lessons incorporate fitness and fun, fine arts, virtual field trips, mental workouts, and lessons on character, leadership, and service!

The lessons are dated, but contain activities that can be done year-round!

Click HERE to access!
Treaty Natural Resources
Housing Authority
Community Is Urged To Take Tribal
Housing Needs Assessment Survey
Data will enhance local programs, funding
Off-Reservation Households
You have now been sent a mailer with a survey code. Go to www.redcliff-nsn.gov/survey to learn more and for instructions to complete the survey.

On-Reservation Households
You have all received a survey code at your home. If you have not yet completed the survey, please complete the short survey at www.redcliff-nsn.gov/survey!
Data will be used to enhance programming and attract funding for housing and other community programs.

The Red Cliff Tribe, in partnership with the Red Cliff Housing Authority, has launched a Tribal Housing Needs Assessment household survey taking place from December 2020 - February 2021. The survey will have two phases: all households on-reservation will receive a door hanger with an online survey code in December, and all off-reservation member households in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan will receive a mailer containing an online survey code.

This survey is an important data collection project designed to compile accurate demographic, employment and housing information about Red Cliff tribal members. The data collected during this survey will be used to enhance local programs and attract funding for housing and other community programs.

Survey topics include: income, education, housing situation, use of and need for community programs and services. All household information requested by the survey is essential to accomplishing the project’s goals. The responses provided to field staff will remain confidential and anonymous.

Please provide honest and complete answers to field staff to support their efforts to:
  • Challenge and replace the Census Bureau’s housing needs data for the Red Cliff Reservation
  • Ensure that the Tribe receives their fair share of affordable housing funding
  • Affirm the Tribe’s sovereignty and expand its self-determination
  • Determine current and future need for housing and essential services

The information you provide will help our community!

The on-reservation survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, and we need complete responses from every household on the reservation. The off-reservation Tribal Member survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. As a special thank you, households that complete the survey will receive an individual incentive and be entered into weekly drawings for larger prizes valued up to $200!

The project is funded by Enterprise Community Partners and the Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority.

On-reservation tribal members will receive a door hanger with a unique survey code at their home that they can use to complete their survey online at: https://www.redcliff-nsn.gov/survey. Off-reservation tribal members will receive a mailed letter containing their online survey code.


Liz Boyd
Tribal Survey Manager, Red Cliff
Phone: (715) 779-3744 ext. 3515

Kevin Klingbeil (Survey Coordinator)   
Managing Director, Big Water Consulting
Phone: (206) 466-2065
Red Cliff Fish Company
Winter Beanies Now Available
Red Cliff Fish Company winter beanies are in! Come get one and keep your head warm! They also make great gifts for your friends and family.
Native-Owned Products Offered In Store
We are excited to be partnering with Indigenous owned Séka Hills from The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in California and Ojibwe owned Dynamite Hill Farms from L’Anse, Michigan!

You can find their specialty products -- including olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar, maple sugar, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and dehydrated corn in our shop.

Click HERE to learn more about Seka Hills.

Click HERE to learn more about Dynamite Hill Farms.
Legendary Waters Resort & Casino
News Across Indian Country
Interpreting Culture: How to Run a Successful Tour Business
In partnership with the National Park Service, AIANTA presents “Interpreting Culture: How to Run a Successful Tour Business.” During the free webinar, hear from panelists Jaslynn Begay, Marketing Manager with Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours and Stacia Morfin, CEO, of Nez Perce Tourism, who discuss all aspects of tour operations, from itinerary planning to hiring step-on guides to working with receptive tour operators and international wholesalers.
The partnership between AIANTA and the NPS will result in a guide of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail that showcases tribes and their cultural heritage attractions located along the trail.

Date:  Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Time:  10:00 a.m. (MDT/New Mexico)

Click HERE for more information and to register.
Apostle Islands Ice Caves Remain Closed
From Apostle Island National Lakeshore

Public access to the mainland ice caves in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore remain closed due to unstable ice conditions. As recently as February 4, there was open water at the caves, and ice cover on Lake Superior was at record lows. In spite of the recent cold temperatures, most of Lake Superior remains open water and the ice that has formed near the caves is unstable, jagged, and rough, creating high risk conditions.

“Ice at the caves is so unstable and jagged that it will not allow safe access by rescue teams using snowmobiles," said Chief Ranger Chris Smith.

“Current conditions are different from the ice cave conditions of 2014, when over 95% of Lake Superior was covered in ice,” said park superintendent Lynne Dominy. “The current ice shelf formed over the past two weeks from blown in chunks of ice, subject to movement by winds and fracturing by Lake Superior waves. Under these conditions, changes in wind direction and waves can cause this ice shelf to blow in one day and be gone the next.”

Although the park has specific criteria for determining when the ice caves can be deemed “accessible”, the extent of unfrozen surface waters and duration of subzero temperatures will always control the stability of the ice shelf. Lake Superior is warming rapidly, ice cover is decreasing, and the likelihood of access to the ice caves has become a rare event.

“One of the most common phrases you hear around here is ‘the Lake is the Boss’-which is true in the summer and in the winter,” added Dominy.

“The park’s primary concern is the health and safety of the community, park visitors, and staff,” added Dominy. “As the NPS monitors and responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working closely with the NPS Office of Public Health and local health office to use the latest science to guide our decision making.”

Due to the continuing high prevalence of COVID in the area, Bayfield County Health Department issued a mass gathering limitation order prohibiting gatherings over 100 people to protect the health and well-being of residents and visitors alike, and to prevent first responders and the local healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. Past ice cave events attracted thousands of visitors, with peak days of 14,000 people. Roadways, bathrooms, EMT trailers, parking, stairways, and the ice caves can become extremely congested and not allow for social distancing. The ice caves at Apostle Island National Lakeshore will remain closed for the 2021 season.

For more information about Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/apis or call (715) 779-3398. Join Apostle Island’s on-line conversations on Facebook: www.facebook.com/apostleislandsnps
Student Creates Video Game
to Teach, Preserve Ojibwe Traditions
By Ayomi Wolff
From madison365.com

Growing Up Ojibwe: The Game, in which players can both engage with and learn about Ojibwe practices and tradition, is now available to download on Android devices, and is also playable on any web browser.
Players can choose to play as either Tommy or Annie Sky, two Ojibwe youth, as they embark on a journey through northern Wisconsin to learn about their heritage. The game is based on a children’s book series of the same name. 
Eleanore Falck is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the artist, programmer, and developer of Growing Up Ojibwe: The Game. She designed the game during a summer internship with the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). The organization also published the book series.

Falck completed the first three levels in the summer of 2019 and finished the last two starting in March of 2020, working five days a week. 
“[GLIFWC] wanted me to help connect with the younger generation and do something educational for young people… so I thought a game would be an easy way to get kids interested. Specifically in the middle-school age range,” Falck said.

“Video games are actually an extremely good way of learning things,” Falck continued. “Games are great for teaching because they’re so interactive, you repeat things and remember them better. Because you’re doing the activity yourself, it becomes your experience too, rather than just someone else’s experience.” 
The game features five levels, each exploring an aspect of Ojibwe life and culture: Treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, maple sap gathering, spearfishing, and harvesting wild rice. 
Spearfishing became a controversial topic in the late 1980s, leading to tense clashes and standoffs when Indigenous people exercised their rights. The topic has become a hot-button issue again recently; just last year, a Lac du Flambeau man was shot at while spearing.

“In the spearfishing level, players learn about the history of spearfishing in the northern Wisconsin area,” Falck said. “Players learn about harvesting sustainably, which is a big point because, during the spearfishing controversy, there was a lot of racism towards Native peoples. Many white people were very upset with treaty re-affirmation. Some believed that if tribes were able to exercise their treaty rights and go out and spearfish, the environment would be damaged, when really tribes are very careful. This is something that is really pushed in that level.” 
As a descendant of the Oneida people whose father is a tribal member, Falck was already familiar with some of the practices featured in Growing Up Ojibwe: The Game. However, designing and developing the game allowed Falck to “discover part of my identity.”
“I had grown up learning about the culture a little bit. My family would harvest wild rice and maple syrup,” she said. “I actually did put a lot of my own experience into the game. So I was already introduced to some of the activities that are shown, but I actually got more education about the culture during this internship.”

As good reviews flood in, Falck added that she is both appreciative and inspired by those who have played and enjoyed her game. 
“I also got a letter from someone who wanted to show the game to his son, someone who is also Native American and that was really sweet,” Falck said. “It really makes me happy [that] it’s getting a good response. Helping to educate people is one of the things that I want to do with games. I want to make pretty stuff but I also want to make content that has a deeper meaning, that people can connect with and that inspires them. 
“A commonality that I tend to go towards is making beautiful scenes of nature in my work because I think the natural environment is really undervalued and that contributes to issues like pollution and climate change. I hope to make people appreciate nature more through my art,” Falck continued. “Although, it might be a little shallow to make people appreciate nature through beauty all the time, because it obviously has so many more reasons to be important.” 
In January 2020, Falck and GLIFWC staff went to Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School school in Hayward, WI, to teach children and introduce them to the game. However, they weren’t able to play due to the school’s wifi restrictions. Instead, Falck decided to show the students how the game was made, and invited the students to use the same game engine that she had used to program it. 
“There’s this one little girl I remember who was maybe like eight or 10 and she was super excited about making games,” Falck explained. “She told me, ‘I want my friends and I to work on this in the library today later.’ It made me so happy that I was able to inspire the next generation. It’s an amazing feeling.’”
Community Events
Interested in upcoming events?

Red Cliff Tribal Administration Office 
88455 Pike Road 
Bayfield, Wi. 54814