Sky Star Map - Constellation Guidebook: An Introduction to
Ojibwe Star Knowledge"
by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffery Tibbetts, Carl
Sky - Ojibwe Constellations as a Reflection of Life on the
by Carl Gawboy and Ron Morton
Star Map Constellation Guidebook: An Introduction to D(L)Akota
by Annette S Lee, Jim Rock, Charlene O'Rourke
Indigenous teachings encouraged 27 participants to "look up"
as the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways unveiled
their latest two-day educational workshop June 18-19: Native Skywatchers
Ojibwe and Lakota/Dakota Star Knowledge.
Ziibiwing Assistant Director and event coordinator Judy Pamp
said Ziibiwing, Central Michigan University's College of Humanities
and Social Behavioral Sciences and the Olga J. and G. Roland Denison
Visiting Professorship of Native American Studies collaborated.
The presenters include St. Cloud State University Planetarium
and Native Skywatchers Director Annette S. Lee, from the Dakota
nation, with fellow team members Bois Forte Ojibwe author Carl Gawboy,
Fond du Lac Tribal, and Community College Title III Project Director
Jeffrey Tibbetts and William Wilson, Canadian Ojibwe tribal elder
"The workshop is designed for all educators and persons interested
in increasing their knowledge of Ojibwe and Dakota/ Lakota star
knowledge," Lee said. "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
Wilson provided illumination of his work during his afternoon
teaching of "Growing up Traditional: Ojibwe Culture, Language &
"We learn from those teachings of the ancestors who have walked
before us and we see creation as the spirits see us," Wilson said.
"We as Anishinabe people look past the outer surface and see what
is truly there and we connect to the spirit world. This is why we
see the lines of communication connect in Ojibwe art because when
it comes down to the teaching
we are all connected."
Each skywatcher has a background in art, although Tibbetts offered
a unique perspective into stone sculpting and working with mixed
"I've had to learn most of what I know about art learning on
my own and by watching my dad carve," Tibbetts said. "We learn about
things best by observing the people around us. What we can't or
don't learn by observing others allows us to be creative enough
to seek out new teachers and opportunities. I had to do that with
both art and cultural things
As an archaeo-astromer, Gawboy enlightens in his awardwinning
research treatise "Talking Sky: Ojibwe Constellations as a Reflection
of Life on the Land".
"It is interesting to see where western thought and academia
are still trying to catch up where they finally realize that native
natural knowledge, and what the elders shared in their stories,
is now referred to as science," Gawboy said. "Many of the old paradigms
held as fact over the years have changed as the science of Ojibwe
star knowledge is shared. Take for example, the old idea of Indian
time: Part of Ojibwe astronomy is how they marked time. Native people
knew there was a time to harvest medicine and crops and looked to
the sky for that knowledge."
Jonathon Miller, adjunct science instructor of the Saginaw Chippewa
Tribal College, attended the workshop and has offered astronomy
and archaeoastronomy courses.
"It is important to integrate as much Native culture into the
curriculum as possible," he said. "
I have read a few of the
books that Carl Gawboy has authored and each one has had a profound
impact my appreciation for Native culture. Both Mr. Gawboy and Annette
S. Lee are people who are an inspiration to those of us who love
astronomy and are very interested in learning about the Native application
The skywatchers concluded the seminar with participants forming
a circle with the afternoon star high in the sky.
Lee offered a Dakota honor song on her shaker and shared a prayer
of hope for all our relations.
"It is an honor to come together as we all our remembering,
revitalizing and celebrating the history of Ojibwe and Lakota/Dakota
Star Knowledge," Lee said. "This is the essence of cultural astronomy
and many elders and Native people have bits and pieces of the knowledge
so freely shared with them. We only know a little and we don't have
to be experts but we can be humble and practice these teachings.
The late White Earth Ojibwe Elder Paul Schultz had a vision that
the young people will bring the star reading back
that vision is happening today."
Pamp encouraged everyone to "get outdoors and take a look at
the beautiful universe created by Gitchi Manidoo (Creator)
All are welcome to join the Ziibiwing Center on July 29 for
an outdoor movie and star stories event with storyteller Larry Plamondon.
Artist Carl Gawboy joined Annette S. Lee's Native Skywatchers
project in part because of a 2005 story he did for Lake Superior
Ojibwe Giizhig Anung Masinaaigan ~ Ojibwe Sky Star Map
Makoce Wicanhpi Wowapi ~ D(L)akota Star Map