Yesterday we picked up the brochure listings all the Minnesota Historical Society sites and realized we were within an easy drive of the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. When we arrived the talk in the Four Seasons Room had just begun. Not getting enough of that we joined the next group with a different guide. It gave us an excellent perspective on the life of the Ojibwe peoples and how they thrived living off the land here in northern Minnesota by harvesting the gifts of the land. They moved from established camp to established camp with the seasons, harvesting and processing maple sugar, wild rice, and other plant foods, as well as hunting and fishing. In the Four Seasons Room the interpretation is as of the year 1750, after European contact. At that point the Lake Mille Lacs (pronounced mill-lax) Band of the Ojibwe were utilizing some trade items such as metal kettles and woven blankets and yet living in wigwams (birch bark covered tipis), moving in family bands, and maintaining all their traditional ways. Out in the rest of the museum we learned how the Mille Lacs have continued their ways even as American culture has altered their way of life. We browsed the trading post and learned about the interplay between the Ojibwe and American cultures here well into the 20th Century. Best of all was the opportunity to attempt to play Lacrosse under the tutelage of Coach John who has been instrumental in teaching this traditional Native American game to many in the Minnesota Twin Cities. We came away with a little more understanding of the Ojibwe peoples, then and now.

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