In June 2012, regional educators, students, administrators,
and astronomy enthusiasts gathered at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community
College (FDLTCC, Cloquet, MN) for the first annual Native Skywatchers
Ojibwe and D(L)akota Star Knowledge Middle School Teacher
The two-day workshop featured the Ojibwe Giizhig Anung Masinaaigan
Ojibwe Sky Star Map. Created by Annette Lee (Dakota), William
Wilson (Lake Nipigon Ojibwe), and Carl Gawboy (Bois Forte Ojibwe),
the firstof- its-kind star map painting displays the Ojibwe constellations
in X-ray painting style. The star map represents an interdisciplinary
approach in which astronomy, Native culture, language, and art are
all gracefully woven together.
The map itself is organized with Giwedinanung, the North
Star or Polaris at the center. The MaangLoon Constellation,
or the Little Dipper, stretches outward from this center point with
all other constellations encircling it. Surrounding this northern
group of stars are the constellations of the four seasons: ZiigwanSpring,
NiibinSummer, DagwaaginFall, and BiboonWinter.
Present in colorful x-ray painting style are Mishi Bizhiw
Curly Tail, AjiijaakCrane, Mooz Moose, BiboonkeoniniWintermaker,
and others. Each of the four corners of the map is filled with Ojibwe
star vocabulary such as: Jiibay ZiibiRiver of SoulsMilky
Way and Jiibayag NiimiidiwaySpirits Dancing Northern
The workshop was led by Annette Lee. Supporting facilitators
included: William Wilson, Carl Gawboy, Jim Rock (Sisseton Dakota),
Charlene ORourke (Pine Ridge Lakota), and Jeff Tibbetts (Fond
du Lac Ojibwe). A detailed Ojibwe Constellation Guide and related
curriculum materials were presented to participants in hands-on
sessions like Follow the Seasons, Follow the Stars.
The workshop focused on experiential learning grounded in the current
night sky and the four directions. Other keynote presentations included
New Paradigms on Indian Studies, Seasonal Timekeeping, Legendary
Figures, and Clan Symbols.
This work is funded by collaboration between NASA-Minnesota
Space Grant, St. Cloud State University, and Fond du Lac Tribal
and Community College.
For more information contact Annette S. Lee, professor of astronomy
and physics, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit the website at http://web.stcloudstate.edu/aslee/.
Native Skywatchers Middle School
Ojibwe & D(L)akota Star Knowledge
|Monday & Tuesday
||June 10 - 11
||at St. Cloud State University
|Thursday & Friday
||June 13 - 14
||at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
Skywatchers Middle School Teacher Workshop
Purpose: The Native Skywatchers Middle
School Teacher Workshop is designed for all educators & persons
interested in increasing their knowledge of Ojibwe and D(L)akota
Star Knowledge. Included in the workshop are multiple hands-on activities
so participants will be able to experience the culture and the science
in the most authentic and meaningful way possible.
Who Should Attend:
K-16 educators; students in teacher training programs; those involved
with the education of American Indian students including classroom
teachers, teacher aides, curriculum specialists, library media specialists,
guidance counselors, home-school coordinators, Title IX/JOM coordinators
and administrators; tribal education staff; college and university
faculty, staff and administrators; and all others interested.