Protect Our Future

The award-winning 30-minute documentary produced by three Ojibwe teens in 2013, Protect Our Future explored how a proposed taconite mine threatened the ancient wild rice beds of the Bad River tribal community. Jordan Principato was the videographer; Shania Jackson scripted and narrated the film; and Ahpahnae Thomas composed original music for it.

 Ahpahne Thomas (music composer), Shania Jackson (writer/narrator), Patty Loew (mentor), and Jordan Principato (videographer) with their "Youth Achievement" awards at the Green Bay Film Festival.

Ahpahne Thomas (music composer), Shania Jackson (writer/narrator), Patty Loew (mentor), and Jordan Principato (videographer) with their "Youth Achievement" awards at the Green Bay Film Festival.

The beauty of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands is simply...Beyond Words. It is no accident that this region has become a mecca for tourists, and a home to many artists who all enjoy the scenic beauty of this  special place. There is something here that draws you in, awakens your senses, and ignites a sense of wonder that inspires you to want to tell the world just how you feel about this place.

That energy to create drives this project, but also a common bond that we all share...Water.  Lake Superior holds one-fifth of the fresh water on the planet, and the ecological health of the surrounding watershed that supplies and refreshes that water is crucial to the beauty we enjoy here, and to the tourism and fishing industries this region depends upon. The headwaters in the Penokees feed the Kakagon Sloughs on the Bad River , one of the last strongholds of wild rice or manoomin ....to the Ojibwe people , clean water is an essential right to maintaining their traditional way of life. 

This is more than an art project. This is learning to see the world in a new way, through new eyes. We will be taking a geographical  journey through the watershed, but also a journey through the past, present and future of this place we call home. From the beginning of human habitation  here, every culture has left their mark upon the landscape, and history abounds. We will also be taking a personal journey, learning new information  and new skills, honing our senses and awakening our creativity.  Through the common pursuit of making art, we can learn much from each other, and ultimately create a vision for the future based on a deep connection of caring for the water,  this place, and its people.

We are all in the same canoe....

 Jessie Conaway   Bad River Youth Outdoors

Jessie Conaway   Bad River Youth Outdoors