March 12, 2002

Six part mini-series on Ojibwe peoples comes to public television


“Waasa Inaabidaa…We Look In All Directions” is a powerful in-depth portrayal of the second largest tribe in North America: the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe (Chippewa) nation.

The six-part series invites viewers through a portal of rich historical and contemporary scenes, never before seen on television, to experience Ojibwe life in the upper Great Lakes region.

Each episode will span Ojibwe culture from pre-contact to contemporary times focusing on six main themes.

The series will premier beginning this March and into April on WDSE-TV Duluth/Superior public television:

1: “Gakina-Awiiya…We Are All Related — Relationship to the Environment” airs March 14 at 8:30 p.m. Repeats March 21 at 7 p.m.

2: “Gikinoo’amaadiwin…We Gain Knowledge — Education and Family Systems” March 28

3: “Gaa-Miinigooyang…That Which is Given To Us — Economic Survival,” April 4 at 7 p.m.

4: “Gwayakochigewin… Making Decisions the Right Way — Leadership and Governance,” April 11 at 7 p.m.

5: “Bimaadiziwin… A Healthy Way of Life — Health and Medicine” April 18 at 7 p.m.

6: “Ojibewmowin…Ojibwe Oral Tradition — Language” April 25 at 7 p.m.

This series includes over 100 interviews with tribal elders, historians, youth, and leaders from the from the nineteen Ojibwe Bands in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Combined with 3,000 archival photographs and on-camera testimonials by academic historians, this series will enthrall and educate the public about Ojibwe culture and life.

Original and historic artwork combined with dramatic re-enactment scenes will poignantly illustrate the four seasons traditional life cycle of the Ojibwe and the impact of the Fur Trade, Euro-American systems and settlement on Ojibwe culture and people through the last two centuries.

Fast-paced footage shot on location will bring viewers into the dynamic activities of Reservation life today with all the complex issues facing tribal communities from health care reform to affirmation of treaty rights.

This is not just an Ojibwe story; it is an American story of adaptation and survival, desperation and ingenuity, bitter betrayals and stunning victories. Only by examining the past of tribal nations can viewers understand tribes today.

Though uniquely rooted in the Great Lakes region, Ojibwe history and contemporary lifestyle parallel other tribal nations throughout the United States.

Filmed on location in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the six hour-long episodes include 135 personal interviews from 19 Ojibwe reservations.

Dramatic re-enactment, animation, archival photos/film, historic documents, and contemporary reservation scenes will tell a powerful story through a chronological arc.

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