The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will be hosting the We Are Water MN exhibit at the Great Lakes Aquarium from March 10-April 23, 2019. The local exhibit content and events will focus on the Band and band members’ unique relationship with water in this place.
Wayne Dupuis, Environmental Program Manager, is one of many story contributors to the exhibit. Through his narrative, he teaches the meaning of the word Nibi (Anishinaabemowin for “water”) and shares the connection between his clan, his dreams, water, and his life.
“Probably 15-20 years ago, I was sitting on the side of one of the rice lakes out here in west of the reservation or within the reservation, but on the western edge…I was waiting for my ricing partner to meet me at the site at the lake and….and I'm sitting on the edge of the lake and it's, you know, a typical day in late August, early September…and the lake and the manoomin [wild rice] spoke to me, you know, not like we speak but clearly spoke and just said, you know, your gratitude for us, your gratitude is all we ask.”
For Wayne, this gratitude and practice of reciprocity extends to all life, including water.
“I believe, like a lot of people believe, that water has its own spirit… and that that message of gratitude is received, acknowledge, and there’s a reciprocal from that spirit of the water that provides positivity and immerses your life.”
“There's a life force that--all it asks is gratitude. And what can you be, but grateful?”
You can listen to Wayne’s audio story and many others in the exhibit, or here: www.mnhum.org/water
Stories and science
We Are Water MN — a popular statewide traveling exhibition and community engagement project — invites visitors to reflect on the experiences of local people and come to a deeper understanding of what taking care of water means to people.
Science and history are also included via this 1000-square foot, hands-on exhibit created by the Minnesota Humanities Center, MPCA, Minnesota Historical Society and Departments of Health, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
This is the second statewide tour of the We Are Water MN exhibit. It visits eight Minnesota communities between October 2018 and November 2019: St. Paul, Bemidji, Crookston, Duluth, Austin, Northfield, Grand Rapids, and Onamia.
Visiting the exhibit
We Are Water MN is open March 10 through April 22 at the Great Lakes Aquarium (353 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN 55802). Visit the aquarium website for hours and admission.
As part of the exhibit, the Fond du Lac Band and their partners will offer an opening celebration on March 10 from 1-4 p.m. Other events include:
- Moonlight snowshoe at Jay Cook State Park, March 23
- Paint night with Karen Savage Blue, March 29, 6 p.m.
- Treaty Fishing Panel, April 4
- Native plants and herbal concoctions workshop, April 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Youth Climate Convening, April 12, noon-3:30 p.m.
- Food, water, and photography, April 12, 5-7 p.m.
- Blue Heron shipboard science, April 18
Visit the Fond du Lac We Are Water Facebook page for full details.
From snowy trails to water-as-beer, there are lots of activities in Duluth. Go to visitduluth.com to plan your own adventure.
- The Lake Superior Estuarium is just across the estuary in Superior, WI. The visitor center has family-centered exhibits that tell the story of the St. Louis River Estuary, Lake Superior and the communities on their shores. Winter hours are Friday 12-4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Lake Superior Marine Museum and Maritime Visitor Center visitor center offers short programs about the maritime history of Duluth and the museum showcases the historic Fresnel lens. Open daily 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Jay Cooke State Park is along the St. Louis River, between the estuary and Fond du Lac Reservation. Explore the river and learn more about natural and cultural history. Daily pass: $7. Annual pass: $35.