BSU offers summer Ojibwe cultural day camp

This July, Bemidji State University is offering a unique opportunity for American Indian students to immerse themselves in the heritage of Minnesota’s first people.

Beginning July 23, Bemidji State is hosting a five-day, four-night Niibinishi Gabeshi (summer camp) program for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who wish to know more about Minnesota’s native people. Campers will capture the essence of Ojibwe culture with an intensive language program, read books, attend workshops and discuss shared assumptions about culture and communication.

The camp is ideal for students with no Ojibwe language proficiency, and students who are interested in attending Bemidji State University to study fields such as Ojibwe, modern languages, Indian studies, humanities, cultural resource management, sociology or teaching are especially encouraged to attend.

Current Bemidji State students serve as camp counselors and will chaperone students to daily activities and facilitate evening programs. Anishinaabe faculty will teach students about the Ojibwe language.

The camp, which runs from July 23-27 and includes lodging in Bemidji State’s residence halls, carries a fee of $550 to cover costs of the program. However, full scholarships for students of American Indian heritage who have demonstrated financial need are available. These scholarships cover the entire $550 registration fee, although students still will be responsible for securing transportation to and from the camp. The number of scholarships awarded will depend on available funds.

Registration is required by June 25.

Volunteers sought
The camp also is seeking volunteers who can present on different areas of the Ojibwe culture, such as history, cultural traditions, music, pow wows, regalia, drum ceremonies, cooking, storytelling, treaties and current issues.

There may be opportunities for stipends to be paid for these opportunities depending on travel distance to the camp or the need for specific supplies for a presentation or demonstration.

Those interested in volunteering at the camp should contact Angie Gora, BSU summer program director.

Angie Gora, summer program director, Bemidji State University; (218) 755-2851

• Summer programs at BSU