Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Activity Kit

Girl coloring a shoulder bag.

A new way to teach Native American history and culture

Based on stories from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Central Minnesota, this kit can enrich your lessons on native culture, wherever you live in the United States or beyond.

Much more than a simple coloring activity, the kit's project serves three main purposes:

  • Introduce Ojibwe culture, history, and arts, both past and present
  • Honor the story of the artist who created the bag's preprinted design
  • Encourage artistic expression, particularly in the bag's blank spaces

Kit contents

  • 30 Shoulder Bags
    with pre-printed design by Ojibwe beadworker Cheryl Minnema
  • Resource DVD and CD
    featuring classroom and teacher video clips
  • Laminated classroom placards
    images of historic and contemporary Ojibwe bags
  • Teacher's Guide
    with extension ideas and FAQs on Ojibwe culture

Grades 2-7.
Cost: Full kit: $130, 30 Bag Replacement: $80.
Volume discounts on 200+ bags through matt.horstman@mnhs.org.

Order full kit

Order 30-Bag Pack

Artist biographies

Cheryl Minnema, Waabaanakwadookwe (White Cloud Woman).

Cheryl Minnema, Waabaanakwadookwe (White Cloud Woman), is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Her design and story are featured in the kit.

She grew up watching her grandmother, mother, and sisters as they beaded traditional dance outfits. Cheryl is now doing her part to keep traditions alive. She points out: “Now I’m in the position where I can start helping to pass on what I have learned. It means a lot to me, because it’s such a big part of our culture.”

Darren Moose, Sr., Ogemabenez (King Eagle), is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He wrote and recorded the flute music included in the Resource CD. He is also a visual artist who enjoys making dance regalia.

He expresses his philosophy in this way: “It’s not how many notes you play at any given time; it’s what you do with each note.”

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