This exhibit celebrates Mille Lacs Band members Maude Kegg, Batiste Sam, Margaret Hill, and Cheryl Minnema. Through their arts, writings, and teachings, these gifted women pass their cultural knowledge on to future generations.

Women of the Big Lake

Now on view at Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post

Ticket price includes admission to all Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post exhibits. MNHS Members get in free.

Meet the artists





(Middle of the Earth Woman)

Maude Kegg (1904-96) was an elder, storyteller, artist, and activist. She worked as a guide at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, and played a major role in developing the Four Seasons Room there. To help preserve and pass on Ojibwe customs and traditions, Maude published four books about her childhood and life in and around Mille Lacs.


(Noon Lady)

Batiste Sam (1914-98) lived on the Mille Lacs reservation her entire life. Her mother taught her to make baskets from birchbark, an art she practiced for the rest of her life. She worked as a guide at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, and gave demonstrations and workshops for visitors into the 1990s.


(Late Rabbit)

Margaret Hill (1928-2009) worked at the reservation’s Nay-Ah-Shing schools and at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, where she conducted demonstrations and workshops for more than 30 years. She dedicated her life to teaching and sharing her knowledge with her family, her community, and anyone else who was willing to learn.


(White Cloud Woman)

Cheryl Minnema (born 1973) was born in Minneapolis and raised on the Mille Lacs reservation. She grew up watching her grandmother, mother, and sisters bead traditional dance outfits. In addition to creating beaded clothing and other works, Cheryl has published two children’s books.