Education: Cultural Hegemony and Critical Consciousness The Lac du Flambeau Curriculum

Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe People in Their Own Words

The Lac du Flambeau band of Ojibwe people has inhabited the Lac du Flambeau area since 1745 when Chief Keeshkemun led the Band to the area. 

The name Lac du Flambeau, or Lake of the Torches, was given to the Band by the French traders and trappers who visited the area. The name refers to the band’s gathering practice of harvesting fish at night by torchlight. 

The Lac du Flambeau Reservation was officially established by the Treaty of 1854. 

The area became a tourist destination for families from southern Wisconsin and Illinois around the turn of the century.

The Lake of the Torches Resort Casino was created to increase economic revenue. Revenues to benefit the economic and social development of the tribal community, including public services for residents in Lac du Flambeau.

The Anishinaabe Ways Curriculum

The Lac Du Flambeau Public School initiated an “Anishinaabe Ways Curriculum Overview.” This curriculum was updated on May 7, 2019, and has been accepted by the School Board. The original Anishinaabe Ways Curriculum, developed with the community in the late nineties, was organized into nine categories, and Culturally Relevant Certifications. 

The overview organizes the current curriculum within that same system. The categories are:

  1. Values
  2. Traditional Beliefs and Practices
  3. Families
  4. Oral and Written History
  5. Seasonal Activities
  6. Drum and Dance
  7. Education
  8. Treaties and Government Policies
  9. Tribal Government

The May 7th, 2019 updates to the Curriculum included the following:

  • Sets of large photos of clan animals, historical sites in Lac du Flambeau, Tribal leaders, and seasonal activities for display in classrooms
  • Tribal members sharing stories about Lac Du Flambeau
  • Ready to go activities and lesson plans related to Anishinaabe Ways
  • A one sheet, easy to read, list of outcomes by the end of the eighth grade for each strand of Anishinaabe Ways Curriculum
  • A clear summary of activities to be provided in each grade related to Anishinaabe Ways
  • Opportunities for all staff to meet in circle to talk about progress on teaching culturally
  • School-wide language expectations for Ojibwemowin e.g. words of the week
  • Student council produced booklet for new teachers about the culture and history of our community

The Lac Du Flambeau Family Circles Community Program

The Lac Du Flambeau Family Circles Community Program provides instruction in language, traditional cultural practices, and history with a view to preserving the culture of the people and thereby restoring pride in the identity of the Anishinaabe.

With an introspective approach in which family members examine their own behaviors, the curriculum enables individuals to better understand how the process of realizing positive, healthy lifestyles within the family begins with their own lives.