Beaver Island's Native American Heritage

The program on July 2, 2008, needed to be modified due to a deluge of water from the rainstorm that passed over the Island. The crossing of the harbor in the canoes was canceled according to the Community Center workers due to this bad weather. The activities were moved inside into the auditorium to make this the first performance in the new theater auditorium. Outside in the entryway, the native American crafts were displayed and for sale.

There were craft items for any price range, some as little as $2.

Some as expensive as $300.

Some were out in the open, and others were protected in glass cases.

The center of most of the dancing and music was the drum under the care of the drum keeper. Permission was necessary to even approach the drum as well as to get a picture of it. The drum represents the "heartbeat" of the American Indian culture.

Several tribal members sat in a circle around the drum and beat the drum and sang haunting melodies.

The concentration and the appreciation of another's singing can be seen in this picture.

The Circle Dance is danced around the drum and the drummers as seen here.

The Master of Ceremonies family was from High Island, and he told many stories and explained the native words.

This was the youngest dancer in the group who danced a solo before the program began.

The Hoop Dance involved picking up one hoop at a time, making shapes to the beat of the music and moving on to pick up another and another.

This slightly older young lady was fascinating to watch.

Another dancer moving to the heartbeat with singing for dedication and prayer.

The elder females to who great respect is shown, moved with stoic grace.

This native American fiddler, Ruby John, wowed the crowd with her playing.

Warren Petoskey told a very interesting story before he played a hauntingly beautiful native American flute. He also talked a young man into playing the drum with him.

Skip McDonough holding the youngest native American attending the festivities on Beaver Island.

The family of the youngest in attendance--the Aaron Wenigwase family.

Judi Gallagher presented each adult performer with a gift of the Journal of Beaver Island History and a living plant. The children performers received a Beaver Island map and a gift bundle of snacks for the return boat trip.

The native Americans from as far away as Lansing and from Traverse City, Baraga, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and Petoskey were welcomed heartily and thanked for sharing their culture with all, even those who were not part of their culture. Many thanks for an educational, entertaining, and enlightening day!!