Sleeping Bear Dunes holds night sky webinar with Grand Traverse Band

From staff reports

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will hold a public storytelling webinar on Monday, March 18, at 6 pm. The free event is offered as a partnership between the National Lakeshore and the Nurturing the Eighth Fire team of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

The guest speaker is Isaac Murdoch whose Ojibwe name is Bomgiizhik (“Revolving Sky”). His presentation will focus on the ancient traditional knowledge of Ojibwe communities regarding the night sky. He will delve into the cultural significance and meanings behind these celestial stories, highlighting the unique perspectives of star knowledge within Indigenous cultures. Additionally, he will explore how these narratives are both distinct and universally relatable on a global scale.

Murdoch is from the Fish Clan of Serpent River First Nation. He is well-respected as a storyteller and traditional knowledge holder. His works include traditional Ojibwe imagery/symbolism, and are influenced by his expertise in harvesting, medicine walks, cultural camps, Anishinaabe oral history, birch bark canoe making, and birch bark scrolls. Murdoch’s images, like his stories, illustrate his deeply held beliefs in the great spirit of the Earth and reflect the knowledge he was taught by his Elders: “I am an artist, an activist, an advocate for our people, and a defender of the lands and waters. I believe it is no longer enough to just say something. I believe in the great power of art in bringing positive change. My artistic goal is to be a catalyst in building bridges and communities.”

A Zoom link will be shared in advance of the program on the National Lakeshore’s social media platforms. An event for the webinar was also created on the National Lakeshore’s Facebook page so that those who are interested can receive updates when they are available.