It’s the season for storytelling, and Sawyer will shine on SaturdayIt’s time for the annual Dibaajimowini maawanji’idiwin, an entire afternoon of storytelling, music and many things Anishinaabe at the Fond du Lac Sawyer Center, 3243 Moorhead Road, Cloquet. Registration starts at noon Saturday, Feb. 18, with a 1 p.m. feast, storytelling from 2 p.m. on and kids’ activities.
According to Ojibwe legend, the storytelling season began with the first snow and ended with the first clap of thunder.
Well, there’s snow on the ground, so that must mean it’s time for the annual Sawyer Dibaajimowini maawanji’idiwin, an entire afternoon of storytelling, music and many things Anishinaabe at the Fond du Lac Sawyer Center, 3243 Moorhead Road, Cloquet. Registration starts at noon Saturday, Feb. 18, with a 1 p.m. feast, storytelling at 2 p.m. and kids’ activities will take place throughout the afternoon. A silent auction will run from noon to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated and organizers hope people will bid generously on silent auction items including Native American artwork, books and other quality items.
Although the event will feature well-known American Indian writers, singers and artists, the less famous will also have an opportunity to shine during open mic sessions.
Local and regional musicians will perform. Invited storytellers and musicians include:
- National Recording Artist Keith Secola – Native American Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award Past Recipient
- Jim Northrup, nationally known Anishinaabe author, poet, playwright and storyteller
- David “Niib” Aubid, Anishinaabe fluent speaker and language instructor
- Frank Montano, Anishinaabe musician, singer, and performer
- Rick Gresczyk, fluent speaker and storyteller
- 13 year old Jacob Vainio, Anishinaabe musician and composer
Northrup – who is one of four finalists in the “Minnesota” category of the this year’s Minnesota Book Awards for his “Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View From the Rez” book released earlier this year – said he will probably read from a yet-to-be published book, to be called “Rez Salute.” It is the complement to “Anishinaabe Syndicated,” which contains highlights from the first 12 years of Northrup’s nationally known “Fond du Lac Follies” column. “Rez Salute” will feature columns from 2002 through early 2012.
Proceeds from the event will support the fourth annual Ojibwe language camp, which is free to campers and growing in attendance every year.
Preserving and revitalizing the Ojibwe language is something both Jim and his wife, festival organizer Pat Northrup, feel very strongly about.
“[The Ojibwe language] is important to our identity,” said Jim. “The old stories say we lived here before, that we had to move four times because of the glaciers. Those people who were running from the glaciers spoke Ojibwe, just like we do. Mamaakaaj [astonishing], yes?”
A silent auction will include Native American artwork, books and other high-quality items. This event is free and everyone is welcome.
For more information about the fundraiser and/or the language camp, contact Jim or Pat Northrup at 218-878-0245.