posted November 3, 2011

Address to Explore Native American Identity

 Lorraine "Punkin" Shananaquet will present "Defining Cultural Identity Within: the Native American Context in 2011" on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. at Hope College in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication. 
 
The public is invited.  Admission is free. 
 
Sponsored by the college's Office of Multicultural Education, the event has been scheduled in conjunction with national Native American Heritage Month. 
 
Shananquet, who is a member the Match-E-Nash-She-Wish-Band of Pottawatomi (the Gun Lake) Tribe, will review the Gun Lake Tribe's history in the context of legal action opposing the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland.  The lawsuit argues that the U.S. Department of the Interior did not have the authority to take the land where the casino is now located into trust for the tribe since the tribe was not under federal jurisdiction in 1934, when the Indian Recognition Act (IRA) was passed. 
 
Shananquet, of Hopkins, has been employed as a community health representative since 1999. Shananquet holds title to "Mide-waunah-Kwe" or Keeper of the Water Bundle for the Center Fire - Three Fires Midewin Society. The responsibility is held by generations, meaning its roles are passed from mother to daughter. 
 
"My interests are a culmination of who I am and how I was raised. I am a traditional woman dancer, beadwork artist, and work to reclaim our original language and culture," she has said. 
 
She considers her greatest achievements to be becoming a mother and being a daughter, sister and aunt. 
 
The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.