Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Ancestral Women Perform in Washington

On September 29, 2016, we first shared with you the opening of the Ancestral Women weavings exhibit. Alice Ackley Randall from the Sokaogon Chippewa Community is featured in the exhibition.
Ancestral Women features award-winning jacquard weavings by Mary Burns. The project was conceived to portray the strength of ancestral women around the world, both Elders and their contemporaries, and to honor their journeys.
A new effort to showcase the weavings and include the women and their descendants is underway. Local public radio station WXPR 91.7 featured a story on the new project, and here are a few excerpts:
“For the last two years, Mary Burns’ exhibit featuring weavings of ancestral women of Wisconsin’s 12 tribes has been traveling around the area. Thanks to a group of women from Lac du Flambeau, the exhibit is now being brought to life. In mid-November, they performed Ancestral Women: The Performance Project for the first time at the Milwaukee Public Museum with children from the Indian Community School.”
“On the stage were large prints of Mary Burns’ original weavings. Much of the performance involves the person in the portrait themself or a relative, telling stories about the person pictured, as well as tribal history as a whole. Some of the stories are happy, and some of the stories are hard to hear.”
Vickie Ackley, Tribal Treasurer and member of the group, is participating in the project, and talks about Alice Ackley Randall, her great-grandmother. She reads from an article that appeared in the Green Bay Press Gazetteand other performers also quote Alice’s words from 1968 when she was crowned “Indian Mother of the Year”.

According to the Ancestral Women – Living Arts Performances Facebook page, “The performance was coordinated by Elders Tinker Miigiiziikwe Schuman, a Lac du Flambeau Tribal Member, and Carol Ann Amour, and each Tribal nation’s story has been elaborated by members of that nation. The set is composed of larger-than-life prints of Mary Burn’s weavings. Accompanied by drum and song, all elements are woven together to create a compelling performance piece.”

Vickie traveled with the group of women in July to perform in the Ancestral Women project at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and shared, “Each time I speak my great-grandmother’s words, I am reminded of her strength. I have so many good memories of her, and am honored to share her when I perform.”
“We toured the Fiber Arts Studio at Evergreen College, and viewed works by Natives from across the nation. It was an amazing experience,” Vickie continued.
Experience the Ancestral Women: The Performance Project by attending these upcoming performances:
  • Friday, August 23rd at 6:30 pm at the Oneida Cultural Heritage grounds near Green Bay.
  • Friday, September 20th at 6:00 pm at the Cultural Building in Mole Lake.
If you would like to know more about the project, or contribute in some way, please email Carol Ann Amour or call 715-439-3078.