NCGLNAC Newsletter

The National Center for Great Lakes
Native American Culture, Inc.

Volume 7, Number 1 January 2007 Issue #22

The Portland Foundation

The Portland Foundation has very generously awarded a grant of $4,185.27 to NCGLNAC for the purchase of media and marketing equipment. The new equipment has been purchased and includes the following: a trade show table-top display board, a table cover, a Dell Inspiron 9400 laptop computer with hardware and software capable of creating DVD's, a Dell digital projector and screen for presentations and the carrying cases for all.

The new display board and table cover will enable NCGLNAC to have a more professional appearance when attending marketing events such as the DiverCity Conference, Jay County Fair and the Eiteljorg Indian Market. The new laptop computer, projector and screen make it possible for NCGLNAC to create and present our own promotional DVDs.

We are looking forward to using the new equipment for educational and marketing presentations about NCGLNAC events, programs and activities in Portland and state and national events and exhibits.

Trail Work Progress

Work on the new educational trail around the pond on the NCGLNAC site is progressing. The trail was laid out during the November Fall Friendship Fire with the help of Don Cochran, Nick Poeppelman and Jerry Neumayr, following deer trails and the Site Master Plan written by NCGLNAC Advisory Board member Scott Shoemaker. The trail has now been cut completely around the pond and is being widened to about 12 feet. Nick Poeppelman has spent many days hacking away at the brush.

Work days are planned for at least two weekends in March. Gary Gibson will bring Boy Scouts from Jay County; NCGLNAC members and people from the community interested in helping will be there as well. Plans call for the trail to be completed this year, including the boardwalks over the wetlands. If you can help, please contact Nick at 419-628-3424 or

Caleb Rouch, a Life Scout of Troop #206, plans to use the trail work as his service project in his quest for the Eagle Scout rank. Caleb is a sophomore at Jay County High School in Portland.

NCGLNAC Upcoming Events

         March 10  NCGLNAC Lecture Series  Session 1. Professor Donald R. Cochran, Ball State University, will discuss the astronomical alignments within 2,000 year old sites in East central Indiana. 5 pm at Jay County Historical Society, Portland.
         March 24 & 25  NCGLNAC Spring Workshops, Women's Building, Jay County Fairgrounds, Portland.
         April 14  NCGLNAC Lecture Series  Session 2. Sara Wagar, former principal chief of the Piqua Shawnee tribe will discuss Indiana and Ohio Shawnee history. 5 pm at Jay County Historical Society, Portland.
         May 12  NCGLNAC Lecture Series  Session 3. Retired teacher and historian Sue Templin will discuss the life of Maconaquah. 5 pm at Jay County Historical Society, Portland.
         June 9 & 10  Fourth Annual NCGLNAC Gathering of Great Lakes Nations at the Tri-State Gas Engine Grounds, Portland. Note the New Date.
         August 5 to 10  NCGLNAC Arts and Craft Workshops, Women's Building, Jay County Fairgrounds, Portland.
         August TBA  Live Benefit Concert in Portland.
         October 6 & 7  Jay Heritage Festival at Jay County Historical Society, Portland.
         November 3 & 4  NCGLNAC Fall Friendship Fire, Women's Building, Jay County Fairgrounds in Portland.

Rick Bennett, KY, Craig White, VA, Ford
Griggs, OH and Ian Winningham at 2006 AISA

NCGLNAC Members Honored

At the 49th American Indian Scouting Seminar held at Cameron University, Lawton, OK, in July 2006, NCGLNAC member Patricia Ruhlander of Lafayette, IN was recognized for her distinguished and life-long service for American Indian youth. She received the Francis X. Guardipee Grey Wolf Award. This national award is named in honor of the late Francis X. Guardipee who founded a Boy Scout troop in 1916 and became the first American Indian to become a National Park Service ranger. Pat was a vendor at our 2006 Gathering of Great Lakes Nations.

At the same seminar NCGLNAC youth and member Ian Winningham, Miami descent from Lafayette, IN was photographed in his Miami regalia. The photograph of Ian was used as the story lead for the article ``Sharing Cultures, Celebrating Differences'' in the January-February 2007 issue of Scouting. The magazine article explores the events at the American Indian Scouting seminar which Ian attended in July with Kenneth and Pat Ruhlander and his aunt, Linda Andrews. At the powwow Ian was also honored by being asked to sit with the Comanche head dancer and his family. Ian has attended our workshops and Gathering of Great Lakes Nations for the last few years.
Fall Friendship Fire

The 2006 Fall Friendship Fire was a very busy weekend for all attending. The weekend began Friday afternoon with Nick Poeppelman orchestrating the sorting and removal of items in the storage locker to our new storage shed and the storage trailer. Helpers besides Nick were Ray and Linda Lutz, Mickie Mann, Janice Tierney, Nita Norcross, Sue Templin and Roy and Wendy Livingston.

Everyone enjoyed NCGLNAC Board member and Professor Don Cochran's Saturday morning talk about the astronomical alignments among the area's early mounds and villages, including between the NCGLNAC site and the Great Mound at Anderson. The discussion and question and answer period after the talk provided even more opportunity for learning about the early inhabitants of the area. Everyone came away with a much greater appreciation of the intelligence and sophistication of the early peoples.

After Don's talk a few participants went to the NCGLNAC site to mark out the first trail, which is around the pond.

Nita Norcross, Ojibwe descent from Birch Run, Michigan did an excellent job teaching participants to make, paint and decorate honor feathers. Everyone made at least one beautiful honor feather.

South Bend resident Doyle Blooding cooked all day preparing Saturday evening's Native American feast. The food was magnificent and included baked ham, stuffed acorn squash, wild rice, rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Saturday evening's dialogue continued about Don Cochran's talk earlier in the day. The board meeting Sunday continued the exchange of ideas about the mission and future plans for NCGLNAC and our site. Many excellent suggestions were made and discussed.

Out of Tradition
Art Show

Art Show Curator Boni Nelson, Sue Snow-Willi, Cathy Mowrey, Robin McBride Scott, Carolyn Rushton and Linda Andrews spent Wednesday through Saturday hanging the multi-media show and they did a beautiful job. Over 200 articles were part of the exhibit.

To coincide with the Fall Friendship Fire, the opening reception of the show was Saturday afternoon, November 4, making it possible for many NCGLNAC members and artists to attend, coming from five states. The beautiful programs were made by our own Linda Andrews and Paper Clips.

Sponsors for Out of Tradition were Tim and Donna Noble of Bloomington, Indiana; Paper Clips of Lafayette, Indiana and Jerry and Kay Neumayr of Attica, Indiana. Arts Place provided a beautiful venue for the show and a big thank you goes to Arts Place and their staff for hosting this exhibition.

Visitors from as far away as Washington, Maryland and Arkansas signed the guest register. Comments were very positive on the quality of the show&''excellent'' was written many times.

Thank you everyone that participated in some way in this monumental undertaking.

Painting by Cathy Nagy Mowrey
Native Women's Dresses

A spectacular selection of Native women's dresses will open March 24, 2007 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Identity of Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses will be a landmark exhibition showcasing over 60 dresses from the Plains, Plateau and Great Basin regions of the United States and Canada. It will demonstrate a spectacular variety of styles, materials and design.
-from NMAI newsletter

Indian Pride to Debut on PBS in February

Indian Pride is a 13-part cultural magazine to be aired on PBS stations beginning February 3, 2007. It will spotlight the diverse cultures of American Indian people throughout the country. Prairie Public Television of Fargo, ND will produce the weekly magazine in cooperation with Circle of Nations Publishing of Grand Forks, ND.

Indian Pride is the vision of JuniKae Randall, who is founding director of Circle of Nations Publishing and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She grew up on the reservation in North Dakota.

Each 30-minute episode will include mini-documentaries shot on location at events held on reservations and elsewhere in Indian country; an in-studio segment featuring discussion of current issues by nationally-known American Indian guests; and original cultural performances featuring traditional and contemporary artists and storytellers.

Member Janice Tierney brought this to our attention. Contact your local PBS station or Blue Earth Marketing at 402-878-2407 for dates and times.
-from Whispering Wind
2007 Lecture Series

The 2007 NCLNAC Lecture Series will again be hosted by the Jay County Historical Society, 903 East Main Street in Portland. All lectures begin at 5 p.m.

The first lecture will be March 10 and is entitled: ``Native American Astronomers of East Central Indiana''. Professor Donald R. Cochran, Director, Archaeological Resource Management Services of the Department of Anthropology, Ball State University, will be the speaker. About 2,000 years ago, Native Americans in this area built mounds and other earthworks that marked rising and setting points of the sun, moon and bright stars.

The April 14 lecture will be by Sara Wagar, former principal chief of the Piqua Shawnee tribe. She will talk about the history of the Shawnee tribe in Indiana and Ohio.

The final lecture will be held May 12. Sue Templin has spent years studying the life of Maconaquah. She will discuss her life from early childhood to her later years as the wife and widow of the Miami named Deaf Man.

Please plan to attend all three lectures to learn more about Great Lakes Native Americans.

2007 Spring Workshop

The full flyer for the 2007 Spring Workshop is included as an insert in this Newsletter. Please plan to attend this excellent educational opportunity March 24 and 25 at the Women's Building, Jay County Fairgrounds in Portland. Deadline for registering for classes is March 16. Deadline for reserving local motel rooms is also March 16.
Four classes are planned: Dani Tippman, Miami of Oklahoma, will teach Miami plant usage and the history of the Miami people through plants; Cathy Nagy Mowrey, Miami of Oklahoma, will teach corn husk dolls; Craig White will instruct his students how to hand-carve a woodland soup spoon ladle; Robin McBride Scott will talk about the evolution of traditional arts of the Great Lakes Native peoples. For more information please contact Kay Neumayr, Workshop Chair, at 765-426-3022 or

George Wieske teaching Linda Gietzen at 2006 Spring Workshop

The 2007 Spring Workshops and the 2007 Gathering of Great Lakes Nations are funded in part by an arts project support grant from the Regional Partnership Initiative. These grants are made possible by the Indiana Arts Commission with funds appropriated by the Indiana General Assembly and the U.S. Congress and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

2007 Gathering of Great Lakes Nations

Three major changes mark the 4th annual NCGLNAC Gathering of Great Lakes Nations.

The first change expands the Gathering to two days; the second change is the date - June 9 and 10; and the third change is the location. The 2007 Gathering will be held at the Tri-State Gas Engine Grounds which are on the west side of Morton Street, just across from the Jay County Fairgrounds. The Tri-State grounds are beautiful, with lots of trees, space for about 1,500 campers, modern restrooms, showers, electrical hook-ups for campers, and two dump stations.

Please mark your calendars to participate in this celebration of Great Lakes Native American culture. Enjoy Native American drums, singers and dancers, a pre-1840's living history encampment, Native American foods, artisan demonstrations, storytelling, and vendors selling Native American items. All vendors are by invitation only.

2007 Summer Workshops

Plans are still in the making for the 2007 Summer Workshops which will be held at the Jay County Fairgrounds, August 5 through 10. The full workshop flyer will be included in the April and July newsletters.

Some of the 10 classes to be offered include finger weaving, outdoor cooking, personal rawhide drums, silversmithing, flintknapping, ribbonwork and pit-fired pre-contact pottery. Also being explored is the possibility of offering a class for children every day. Several other classes are still being finalized.

Eugene Brown's cedar flute class  2006 Summer Workshops
Gourd Workshop

Carolyn Rushton taught an excellent personal gourd rattle workshop hosted by the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Saturday November 18. Even though it was a one-day workshop, participants came from three states to learn from Carolyn. Everyone took a beautiful, completed personal gourd rattle home with them. Take a look below.

A special thank you goes to Leon Jett, Public Programs, for making the arrangements for the workshop to be held at the Nina Mason Pulliam Education Center of the Mel and Joan Perelman Wing of the Eiteljorg.

Completed gourd rattles

Indiana Historical Society

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) in Indianapolis is dedicated to preserving Indiana's written history. As a benefit of membership in the Indiana Historical Society they regularly send to the members their own choice of four publications.

The Fall 2006 issue of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History under the section Images of Indiana Susan Sutton, IHS coordinator of visual reference services reports on a very interesting portfolio collection. A portrait of Potawatomi Me-No Quet drawn by James Otto Lewis at the treaty of Fort Wayne in 1827 is featured on page 47. According to the article, the American government retained Lewis to paint portraits at the various treaty councils in the Great Lakes region from 1825 to 1827. Lewis later had many of the images published in The Aboriginal Portfolio or a Collection of Portraits of the Most Celebrated Chiefs of the North American Indians. Indiana Historical Society's William Henry Smith Memorial Library has one of the portfolio collections dated 1836. The images have been digitalized and may be viewed at the Digital Image Collection section of the library page of the IHS website: Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History

Potawatomi Trail of Death

``On a moonlit night, with the owl hooting, we heard the hoofbeats of a horse as he came galloping down the hill. He splashed through the creek, carrying Father Benjamin Petit, hastening on to comfort his people. Across Indiana he rode to catch up with the Mission Band of Potawatomi who were being forcibly removed to Kansas. At gunpoint they had marched down Rochester's Main Street and through Logansport and Lafayette.''

NCGLNAC Board Vice-Chair Linda Andrews passed on to us the review by Shirley Willard, Fulton County historian, of a new historical novel about the Potawatomi Trail of Death: The Last Blackrobe of Indiana and the Potawatomi Trail of Death, written by John McMullen. The author is a high school teacher in Evansville and a professor at Ivy Tech Community College. He asked Shirley Willard and Citizen Potawatomi Susan Campbell, formerly of Seattle WA and now of Hawaii, to proofread the book prior to publication. The historical novel uses real people speaking as the author imagined them to speak: Chief Menominee, Abram Nanweshmah, Burnett, Mas-saw, Father Petit, Governor Wallace, John Tipton, William Polke and Polke's secretary Jesse C. Douglas. The book contains 423 pages. The epilogue was written by Susan Campbell and Appendix C was written by Shirley Willard. The soft cover book is available at the Fulton County Historical Society, 37 East 375 North, Rochester, IN 46975 for $17 plus $6 shipping and handling.

The Futon County Historical Society's new website has pictures of all 78 Trail of Death historical markers, GPS locations, driving directions, the 1838 diary of Jesse Douglas, and more.

Kay Neumayr, Jinny Esten, Kerry Holzworth, Sharon Kidwell - 2006 Summer Workshops

Annual Fund

In December NCGLNAC launched our year-end annual fund drive. Why does NCGLNAC need an annual fund raising campaign? Grant funds, workshop registrations, admissions and membership fees do not cover all of NCGLNAC's yearly operating expenses. Even though our organization is made up entirely of volunteers, we still incur expenses such as insurance, property upkeep and improvement, mailings, programs such as the Lecture Series, school programs, workshop income shortfalls, facilities rent, advertising, Head Dancers and Drums at the Gathering, and more.

It is only through the generosity of our members and friends that NCLNAC is able to move forward, ever increasing our programs and activities. Please help NCGLNAC in our mission to preserve and pass on the rich cultural heritage of the Great Lakes Nations.
NCGLNAC Membership Registration

I wish to become a member of the National Center for Great Lakes Native American Culture, Inc. (NCGLNAC) to support the preservation and sharing of Great Lakes Native American culture through my gifts and membership activities.

Name (s) ______________________________

Address _______________________________

City __________________________________

State _________ Zip Code _________________

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NCGLNAC Membership Year is the Membership

Annual Standard Membership Categories

Student (Full time to age 23)            $15
Individual (1 adult)                      $25
Family (2 adults & children to 18 yrs.)         $40
Grandparent (2 adults & grandchildren
         to 18 yrs.)                        $50

Annual Patron Membership Categories

Otter Circle                               $100
Corporate                                  $100

Those interested in becoming patron members of NCGLNAC at other levels by making special donations are invited to contact Membership Chair Janice Tierney at hyperlink

Please make checks payable to NCGLNAC, Inc. and send completed form and dues to:

Janice Tierney
Membership Chair
5361 Elmsford Drive
Flint, MI 48532


Center for Great Lakes Native American Culture, Inc. was formed in May 2001 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. The Center is composed of Native and non-Native members whose mission is to continue and preserve traditional Great Lakes Native American art, history and culture by helping pass those traditions on to Native People and by educating the general public about the importance of Great Lakes Native peoples, their art, history and culture.

The Center has no political agenda. Our focus is on education. We have seen far too many of our treasured elders and tradition bearers begin their Spirit Journey without knowing who would carry on in their place. Additionally, we know too many Native people who are displaced from their tribal land-base and separated from their traditional tribal cultures.

Over the past 15 years, the Center's tribal elders, tradition bearers and members have been presenting at workshops, symposia, university classrooms, conferences, powwows, elementary schools, libraries and other cultural and educational events. We look forward to helping Native peoples, urban cultural centers, universities, public and private elementary and secondary schools, Elderhostel and the general public raise their awareness and understanding of the cultural heritage and history of Great Lakes Native peoples in an inviting, comfortable place with a friendly learning environment.

The Jay County Fair Board has generously donated to NCGLNAC nearly 30 acres of beautiful, wooded land, complete with pond and wetlands, located just north of the Jay County Fairgrounds in

If you would like to know more about NCGLNAC or receive membership information, please log on to our website at or contact us at P.O. Box 1063, Portland, IN 47371.

National Center for Great Lakes
Native American Culture, Inc.
P.O Box 1063
Portland, IN 47371

Funded in Part By