Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Activity Starter Kit
Based on stories from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Central Minnesota, the kit can enrich your lessons on native culture, wherever you live in the United States or beyond. Anything but a simple coloring activity, this project is ideal for art and social studies, but can be adapted to multiple subject areas. See where the kit will take you! Ideal for grades 2-7.
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Available online only.
- Video clips for students:
- How to Decorate Your Bags (2:25 minutes)
- Meet Ojibwe Beadworker Cheryl Minnema (3:30 minutes)
- Visiting the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post (4:50 minutes)
- Behind the Scenes with Ojibwe Collections (5:50 minutes)
- Video clip for teachers: Four educators discuss how to make this project meaningful (15:30 minutes). The panel includes an Ojibwe elder from the Mille Lacs band, a Navajo art teacher who works at a school on the Mille Lacs reservation, a St. Paul middle-school teacher with more than 25 years in the classroom and a Cherokee woman who serves as American Indian advisor in one of the largest school districts in Minnesota
Laminated classroom placards
- Bandolier bags from the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society (8 placards)
- "Plants and Ojibwe Life: Food, Medicine and Materials" placard (1 placard)
- Tracing patterns (1placard. Tracing patterns depict plants featured on "Plants and Ojibwe Life" placard)
Teacher's Guide (29 pages). Includes FAQs, discussion questions, standards connections, cross-curricular extension ideas, and background information on traditional Ojibwe seasonal lifeways.
Fast Facts: Kit Development
- The shoulder bag decoration activity is inspired by Ojibwe bandolier bags. The bag's printed design matches that of a contemporary bag created by Cheryl Minnema, a master beadworker from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in central Minnesota.
- The kit's development process was an active collaboration among staff from two Minnesota Historical Society museums--the Minnesota History Center and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum.
- The Society's Indian Advisory Committee, comprised of Ojibwe and Dakota members from throughout the state, was an integral source of ideas and consultation throughout the kit's creation.