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First Nations event focuses on culture, history

The University of Wisconsin-Superior First Nations Center, First Nations Program and Native Nations Student Organization host a Spirit Pole Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, outside of the Yellowjacket Union, 1605 Catlin Ave.

"The Spirit Pole Ceremony takes place once a year," said Brett Evered, lecturer, First Nations Studies at UWS. "We take the old Spirit Pole down and erect a new one under the guidance of an Anishinaabe spiritual adviser. The Spirit Pole represents traditional Anishinaabe culture and signifies that we have ties to the land that the university is on. The Spirit Pole connects us to past generations who looked out for our future, to the present generations and to the future generations to follow in our path and live a good life — Bimaadiziwin."

The free event then moves into the Yellowjacket Union Great Room for refreshments and an evening dedicated to learning about the historical trauma that Natives have endured. Discussion will deal with serious issues, but anyone is welcome to attend, and learn of Native history and issues that continue to be faced in society. The event will include student and staff presentations and an interactive "Turtle Island" activity for hands-on learning about Native history.

"Our students and staff will be representing themselves and their cultures with presentations and visual art displays," said Evered. "I want people to leave the Spirit Pole Ceremony and Historical Trauma event with further ingrained respect toward Natives."