Keweenaw Honors Elder, Students with Ceremony

Aug 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 16-1: Sovereignty in Indian Country, Tribal College News

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC, Baraga, MI) honored not only students but also a community elder at its annual awards ceremony in April. Lori Rasanen received a special service award, an Ojibwa recipe book dedicated to her.

Rasanen, 77, has prepared traditional Ojibwa foods for feasts and nutritional programs for the college for many years. She also devoted time to make the recipe book possible.

The book promotes better eating habits to reduce chronic diseases for the Ojibwa people living on the L’Anse Indian Reservation. Handed down through several generations, the recipes stress the nutritional foods provided by the earth that lead to healthy bodies, minds, and spirits.

Wankan Duta Hoskina Gill (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota) was awarded the Outstanding Student in Earth and Environmental Science at the ceremony. She has been accepted into a Duke University summer program to travel to Costa Rica to learn about Costa Rica’s plant and animal biodiversity and to visit with the Guaymi, Brunka, and Maleku indigenous people. Duta will also visit the Caribbean coastal area of Limon to meet with and learn from the Afro-Caribbean populations and the Bribri Indigenous groups.

Robin Chosa (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community) was chosen as the Student of the Year and honored by the American Indian College Fund at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Conference in Billings, MT.

The ceremony included an invocation by Ozahwah Onikwad (aka Donald Dowd), Ojibwa spiritual leader, and an honor song by The Beartown Drum, who paid tribute to the students excelling in their academic studies during the year. It concluded with a community feast and mini pow wow.

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