St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
"My grandmother taught me the art of making moccasins. I’ve been able to pass this on to my daughters and grandchildren."


Miscobinayshii (St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin) was a year old when her mother died, and her grandmother began raising her and her sister, Margaret. Their grandmother taught them what she did — make moccasins for all occasions. When someone passed, families called on her to make “going home shoes.”

Melissa Fowler (Lac Courte Oreilles, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin), Miscobinayshii’s granddaughter-in-law, nominated her for the FPF Community Spirit Awards. Melissa feels as though Miscobinayshii’s life has been dedicated to not only practicing traditional art and speaking the language, but to continually sharing that knowledge by teaching both youth and adults.

“Without her, St. Croix Tribe wouldn’t know many of the stories, history, and language,” Melissa said. “As a first speaker, she is able to teach and pronounce the Ojibwe language with the correct dialect of the St. Croix Tribe. When she gifts her knowledge, she is gifting a person the ability to carry this knowledge throughout their lifetime.”

Ojibwe culture keeper Lee Staples said, “Each of us has a purpose and a reason for existing on this earth. Miscobinayshii is a prime example. May she make many more moccasins.”

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