Canoe Launch Ceremony May 11, 2018

Indian Community School students, teachers, staff, Board of Directors and parent families are invited to the official launch of our birch bark canoe at Lakeshore Park on Friday, May 11, 2018!

We are very excited to announce that Lac du Flambeau canoe builder, Wayne Valliere, who worked with ICS students and the community for months to build our beautiful birch bark canoe, will be joined by Josephine Mandamin, an Ojibwe grandmother from Thunder Bay Ontario (Canada), to lead the launching ceremony.

Parking will be available to parent families and our guests please contact Our Ways at 414-525-6144 for more information.



In 2013, Anishinaabe artist and educator, Wayne Valliere, Mino-Giizhig, built an Ojibwe birchbark canoe. That project, “Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan: These Canoes Carry Culture,” partnered Wayne, the ENVISION Program of Lac du Flambeau Public School and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This film documents the ways in which Wayne adapts Ojibwe traditions in effective and innovative ways, while simultaneously using indigenous methods and culturally-situated approaches to education, environment, health, and leadership-building skills to teach the next generation of birchbark canoe builders.

The canoe was built by Wayne Valliere, the students of the ENVISION program of Lac du Flambeau Public School, and University of Wisconsin–Madison community members.



Josephine Mandamin is an Anishinaabe grandmother, elder and water walker. She is originally from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, also known as Wikwemikong First Nation. Since 2003, Josephine has walked the shorelines of all the Great Lakes, around 17,000 miles. Currently, Josephine’s total kilometres walked for the water has been tallied at over 25,000 kilometers. Josephine is a member of The Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge and completed her last water walk in the summer of 2017. Josephine received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2016. Josephine was awarded along with seven other recipients at Queen’s Park for volunteer contributions to the conservation of community heritage over twenty-five years or more.