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Boreal Community Media

Kids Create

May 25, 2017 10:25PM ● By Editor
Inside Cook County
by Bryn Fitzgerald-Wells, Staff Writer​, and Sammie Garrity, Boreal Corps Editor

Kids at the Oshki Ogimaag Charter School in Grand Portage completed an awesome art project and had an art show of their paintings in May of The Seven  Clans teachings. The artists are in fifth and sixth grades, and their intent is clear in the images they painted: they want readers to reflect and feel values of their culture.

When you look at the Bear Clan, you can see art is to inspire feeling happiness and learning new things.

The Loon Clan wants to know the cultural importance of the loon as chief.

For painters of  the Bird Clan, the egg is important because it is the baby. And the heart is vibrant and true. 

For the Crane Clan, the image says to all: follow your dreams. The bright colors and vibrant hearts encourage viewers to feel love. 

Marten Clan artists want you to feel respect, and the Fish Clan is the learning clan, encouraging growth and curiosity.


The images communicate their messages clearly. The bear has a turtle near the heart, the loon has a flower and bright red eye and moon illuminating water with a nice deep blue background

In the bird portrait, there is the egg and heart that is sort of electrifying everything else to show the importance or raising young. It looks kind. Crane is very bright, vibrant and looks very warm, with flowers all around it and on the wings.

In the Hoof Clan there is a skull, and a heart that looks vibrant and meaningful but still portrays a dark sense to it.

Marten is climbing a birch tree at night, surrounded by trees. The birch tree looks very welcoming, but still mischievous. Fish looks large and respected, with many others following it. It is very bright green and looks like a powerful and wise creature.

By creating these powerful vibrant images, the Oshki kids have opened a world we did not know, and we appreciate that.

The Seven Clans paintings were created by students with art therapist and facilitator, Belle Janicek, who has worked with students at Oshki Ogimaag for the past five years to create works that allow student to explore, interpret and create their own images of their cultural teachings. ​

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