Volunteers Building Log Learning Centers

Sep 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 11-1: 10th Anniversary Issue, Tribal College News

In a joint effort between Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College and the Fond du Lac Reservation, a Cultural Learning Center is being constructed on the reservation in Minnesota. The new Cultural Learning Center will be part of the Veteran Memorial Park planned for the site in Cloquet, Minn.

At the same time that Fond du Lac has been stacking logs, many other tribal colleges have been doing the same. A total of 23 Cultural Learning Centers will be erected before winter. The centers are a direct response to the 1990 Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which provides for the return of sacred ceremonial items to their tribes of origin. These buildings will have the capacity to house, preserve, and display any artifacts returned to the tribes.

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), in cooperation with the Log Homes Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), put together a plan to secure a building for each tribal college. Planning for the centers has been funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, with programmatic and technical assistance from the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. The buildings also have received material donations from the building industry.

The Fond du Lac Cultural Learning Center building consists of a 48’ by 48’ log structure. The donated logs were cut, prepared, and delivered by Northeastern Log Homes of Kenduskeag, Maine, which also assisted on-site in the construction of the center. In New Mexico, Crownpoint Institute of Technology has constructed an eight-sided hogan around a central fire pit, with a donation of log materials from Air Lock Log Homes of Las Vegas, N.M. In Wisconsin, the College of the Menominee Nation has erected a one-story center complete with carved totems framing the entrance, with a log donation by Town and Country Cedar Homes of Petoskey, Mich.

For more information one how to get involved, contact Anne Edinger at (212) 206-6580.

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