2nd Annual Storytelling/Silent Auction/Feast


While driving home from the Sawyer Community Center I pulled off the road to watch a bald eagle make circles in the sky. I watched that magnificent bird for a couple of minutes, his white head and tail, black body, stood out from the blue sky above him. He was just coasting along with the wind doing eagle stuff. I drove home, quietly thrilled by the encounter. Migizi.

**** The 2nd Annual Storytelling /Silent Auction/ Feast went well. We did it all at the Sawyer Community Center. Later it was said the parking lot was full and cars were parked up and down Moorhead Road.

Actually this would be about the 5th time we had storytelling in Sawyer during the winter. This one was different in that we had the auction to raise money for our summer time Ojibwemowin Language Camp. The camp will be held here in Sawyer on June 23, 24, 25, and 26 at Kiwenz Campground on the north end of Gichi-zaaga’igan (Big Lake). Pebaamibines opened the storytelling doings by smoking his pipe and praying, he and Veronica Smith handled the MC chores throughout the day.

Sandra Shabiash, the Sawyer representative on the RBC, gave a warm welcoming talk.

David Niib Aubid started the doings followed by the Ojibwe Hymn Singers.

Jeff Savage, Mary Moose, Andy Favorite, Rick Defoe, Jim Northrup, Al Hunter and Frank Montano, Leonard Moose, Alan “Chip” Beal, Rick Gresczyk, Butch Martineau, Marcie Rendon, Wendy Savage, the Anishinaabe Youth Singers with Liz Jakola, Sarah Howes Agaton all followed.

The open mic was hosted by Ron Hagland.

A pink piece of paper was posted and handed out. Rick Gresczyk brought it to the doings because it was so close to Valentines Day. It was titled Ojibwe for lovers and contains such phrases as:

Nanda-noojikaazodaa – Let’s go snagging;
Aapiji gimiikawaadiz – You are so beautiful;
Giminwenim ina – Do you like me;
Bangii eta go giminwenimin – I only like you a little;
Bii-wiijiiwishin – Come, be with me;
Geyaabi na gizaagi’ – Do you still love me;
Eya’, Aapiji gizaagi’in – Yes, I really love you;
Ninoondendam – I am in a flirtatious mood;
Minjimishin niinimoshenh – Hold me my sweetheart;
Daga giziiyaabide’on – Why don’t you brush your teeth;
Giwii-ojiim ina – Do you want to kiss me;
Giwii-ojiimin – I want to kiss you;
Ojiimishin gagiibaadiz – Kiss me you fool;
Giga-mino-bimaadizimin – We shall have a good life.

When the bids were added up we realized we had raised a couple hundred bucks more than last year. The items that raised the most spirited bidding were the fur lined moccasins.

The volunteers from Mashkawisen were a great help in the kitchen and when any work needed to be done; such as setting up the chairs for the audience and at the end, folding the tables and chairs so they could be transported back to Cloquet.

Then the feasting began. We ate deer meat and more. Once again the volunteers from Mash came through and served the food. There was just enough food for those that wanted to eat. It is funny how that works out.

It is always so good to be around a group of happy people. I heard laughter and teasing sounds as the people ate together. I smiled inside because the joyful noise made up for the hours of planning.
We shall have an after-action meeting sometime soon to review the whole thing. We want to identify the good things so we can keep doing them; we want to learn about the not so good things so we can be better than ever next year.

So, to review, we made more money for the language camp than we did the year before, we entertained more people than last year, and there were at least two tons of laughs inside the Sawyer Center.

**** Since the book, Anishinaabe Syndicated, came out I have been making the rounds being interviewed on the radio, on TV and in the newspapers.

I have been working with Liz Hill who acts as my publicist. She owns her PR firm in Washington D.C. and has contacts all over the world. The media interviews were set up by her. Liz writes a killer press release.

WPFW radio in Washington D.C. was the first of my radio interviews. Jay Nightwolf, a Cherokee Marine was the first of the interviewers. His questions led to my favorite stories. It was an easy interview and not until later did I remember I was speaking to three million listeners. I will be on his show again on April Fools Day.

I did two local television shows and have two more coming up.

**** The place on the horizon where the sun comes up is moving north each day. Sugarbush time is almost here, again.