Hannahville Children

Title: Hannahville Children
Artist: Christine Caluya
Medium: Print
Location: St. Charles Public Library (Youth Services), 1 South 6th Avenue
Owner: St. Charles Public Library
Donated by: Organizing Committee for “Ekwabet‘s 20th Birthday Celebration”, In honor of Ekwabet and the Potawatomi Nation and in appreciation of the St. Charles Public Library
Map Locator Number: #10

Story:  This piece was chosen by Guy and Elizabeth Bellaver from the “Ēkwabet’s Pop-Up Art Gallery” to thank the Library for their support of and participation in the 2008 Event – Ēkwabet‘s 20th Birthday Party.  One of the highlights of the Event was the 3rd Grade Pow Wow, and the Library brought the fabulous Native American story-teller Gayle Ross (descendant of Chief John Ross) to the city for the Pow Wow, and for an evening at the Library.

Artist Statement:  My Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) name Weengushskwe translates to Sweetgrass Woman.  I was born in 1968 in Detroit, Michigan.  I studied studio art in the area of painting and printmaking at Wayne State University in Detroit.  My heritage is Ojibwa from Walpole Island First Nation located in southwestern Ontario, Canada and Taos Pueblo Nation from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico.  My father Teofilo Lucero influenced me in traditional arts such as beadwork, quillwork, and regalia making.  I incorporated these traditional teachings into contemporary art forms.

My art consists of oil and watercolor paintings and different forms of printmaking (etchings, lineoleum, woodcuts, and serigraph to mixed media).  I transform traditional Native American art into contemporary form on how I see it.  Geometric shapes and floral motifs from beadwork are seen in my work.  These images are simplified with the use of color, shape, and texture that reflects my growth and spirituality.

About the Hannahville Potawatomi:
The Hannahville Potawatomi Indian Community is located in the south-central section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Menominee Country, 20 miles west of Escanaba, Michigan and 95 miles northeast of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The reservation was established by an act of Congress in 1913, although descendants of the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin Potawatomi have been residing in the Wilson, Bark, River, and Harris, Michigan area since 1853, specifically along the Cedar River.

In 1883 a Chippewa Methodist missionary by the name of Peter Marksman lent the Potawatomi at Cedar River money to establish a permanent location around the towns of Harris and Wilson.  Eventually, the reservation became known as Hannahville, named after the wife of the missionary.

The Potawatomi Tribe as a whole, has resided in the Great Lakes area for over 500 years.  With the Ojibwa and Ottawa they formed the Council of the Three Fires.  Before this, all three tribes were one tribe, who called themselves Anishnabek (The People or Good People) of the Algonquian linguistic stock, and the name Potawatomi is said to mean People or the Place of the Fire, Keepers of the Fire, and at times were referred to as the Fire Nation.

In 1975, they opened their own K – 8 tribal school, via a grant from the American BIcentennial Commission for a community arts and crafts building.  It is now a K – 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs funded tribal grant and Michigan Charter Public School Academy, and is housed in a beautiful state-of-the-art educational complex.  The school and the welfare of the community children, continues to be the heartbeat of the Hannahville Potawatomi.