Vision Statement

We are dedicated to the development of a traveling interactive cultural exhibit showcasing the connections between and diversity of Great Lakes tribes that will elicit hope, love, and respect in the minds and hearts of our visitors and enable them to see the beauty of indigenous language and knowledge in a present-day context

Logic Model

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How will my community’s submission be collected?

The project is using a community accessible based website to collect submissions. The website is called Murkurtu. Mukurtu is a content management system used by many tribes across the United States––and Indigenous communities around the world––to collect and manage their digital heritage based on their own cultural protocols. We will provide you with a user ID for the website and support on how to submit your content. The website will allow us to collect, organize, and share our submissions with each other. It will be an online place to learn about each other. The online collection will also serve as the inventory we will use for developing the exhibition and related educational and programming materials.

What will be collected along with your submission?

Along with basic information about your submission (like name, date), we’ll be asking for background information on why you selected this story, song, or object. How does it speak to our overall theme of “We Are Still Here?” How does it share something about the living part of your community? How does it related to the sub-themes? We will also be asking for a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed so we can use your submission for the exhibition and related educational materials. The form will be ready soon. The project will not be collecting any original documents––only digital copies of things you want to share.

How many things can we submit?

The short answer is: as many as you like! We want to collect as many relevant submissions as possible. If it’s important to you and your community, please share it. The contributions we receive will help shape the story we tell. The more the better. The exhibition will seek to highlight the diversity of tribes in the region and will aim to include something from each. But not everything submitted will make it into the final physical exhibition. The companion online digital collection, programming and curriculum materials, though, will give everything submitted an audience. Your contribution will be seen by others.

Who will care for the submissions?

It is our hope that long-term stewardship of the digital content collected will reside with a tribal entity. We are currently in discussion with tribal institutions to request they care for the digital collection we create together. Until long term stewardship is determined, the online materials will be password protected and only accessible to Culture Keepers.

When would you like the submissions by?

We’ll be setting a deadline of mid- to late-March 2017. Approximately a month before our next planning/work meeting. 

Who will manage the traveling exhibition?

While UW-Madison and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are sponsoring the planning process, they will not manage the final exhibition. We are currently in discussions with tribal cultural institutions to request they serve as the institutional home for the completed exhibition.

Which tribes have participated so far?

To date, representatives from the following communities have guided this project:

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Brothertown Indian Nation
  • Forest County Potawatomi Community
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  • Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
  • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
  • Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe8 
  • Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Red Lake Nation
  • Saginaw Chippewa Community
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community 
  • Sokaogon Chippewa Community
  • White Earth Nation

How are decisions being made?

Together. At each of our Convening Great Lakes Culture Keepers meetings, we’ve made important decisions together as a group. At the last meeting at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, we formed committees to carry out responsibilities for tasks like Digital Curation. If you’d like to help, we can make sure you’re on one of the committees. Our next group planning meeting will be at Lac Courte Oreilles this spring. We’re aiming for April or early-May. 

Will there be other materials created to support the exhibition?

We’re hoping to develop an online exhibition, curricular materials, and promotional materials to go along with the exhibition. We hope the exhibition will be something that will inspire communities to develop their own unique programs and materials too.

Who do I contact for more information––or to commit to participate?

You can contact Omar Poler at or 608-890-3817. He can also put you in touch with other community participants and the exhibition work committees.

Where can I find more resources?

We’re developing resources and training opportunities to support your involvement in the project. Soon we hope to have draft MOUs, elevator speech abstracts, question prompts to help you think about what to submit, and other materials. We’re also preparing a few online webinars to support participants. More is coming soon!

Do you have a vision statement for the project?

We have a few. Here’s one…

“We are dedicated to the development of a traveling interactive cultural exhibit showcasing the connections between and diversity of Great Lakes tribes that will elicit hope, love, and respect in the minds and hearts of our visitors and enable them to see the beauty of indigenous language and knowledge in a present-day context.”

What do I do next?

Please let Omar Poler know that your community intends to submit something. Then start engaging your community to decide what best communicates your unique contribution to our collective story of “We are Still Here.” We recognize that each tribe will have its own process of selecting and deciding on what to submit. Please abide by your own procedures. We will also be asking for a signed MOU that allows for the restricted use of your contribution.

Growing Great Lakes Culture Keepers Grant

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