Celebrating Wayne Valliere

Local artist Wayne Valliere is being honored by mulitple outlets.

The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, will present “The Culture of America: A Cross-Country Visit with the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows,” on March 4th at 8:00 pm (Eastern time).

Join storyteller Queen Nur as she hosts a virtual trip across the country, taking viewers into the homes and communities where the 2020 National Heritage Fellows live and create. The pre-recorded virtual presentation will be webcast free to the public at https://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage. No RSVP needed.

As part of this one-hour presentation, viewers can:

Watch as Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau), one of only a handful of Native birchbark canoe builders today in the United States shares his craft, highlighting its significance in the Anishinaabe culture.

In addition to the National Heritage Fellows presentation, Love Wisconsin recently featured an interview with Valliere on their website.

“The spirit of an old Indian went in me when I was born, and because of that, I will always be drawn to Native culture and Native ways. I live up on the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Indian Reservation in north central Wisconsin,” Valliere said.

“As I grew up, I was exposed to a lot of Ojibwe culture. My earliest memory was seeing Native art when I went with my parents to visit with elders—mawadishiwewin (visiting.) During these visits, we drank a cup of tea, had something to eat, and I got to see the different kinds of Native art these elders created. From hide tanning to canoe building to basketry, to quillwork, to sugaring to ricing, it was all Native art. My parents were involved in those things and they exposed me and my siblings to it at a young age.

Because I was exposed to Native art and because of our ancestral teachings, I have a connection to the earth and art at a deeper level. The natural materials I use have to be prayed for and thanked and told what they’re going to be used for.”

Read the full interview, produced by Carol Amour.