2012 WTLC Tour - The State of Superior
The State of Superior
A WTLC Here at Home Cultural Tour
for K-12 Educators
July 29 – August 3, 2012
For an inside look at the 2012 tour, see the WTLC tour blog.
WTLC tours immerse K-12 educators in the cultures of Wisconsin communities. In intensive ethnographic fashion, WTLC tours take educators deep into a section of the state to observe, interview, document and learn about local lives and issues. Faculty work with tour participants to connect the tour experiences with ideas for classroom curricula. If you appreciate active, exploratory, open-ended learning about the state in which you and your students live and work, this could be the professional development opportunity for you.
The theme for the 2012 WTLC Here at Home Cultural Tour is “The State of Superior.”
Since the middle of the 19th century, a steady stream of residents from northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has called for secession from their existing states in order to form the State of Superior. Such efforts reflect Northerners’ separation from urban areas farther south, as well as cultural differences, experienced through well-defined ethnic enclaves, strong connections to natural resources, and often a self-proclaimed independence of spirit, reflected in such local expressions as “jack pine savage” and the Finnish term “sisu” (courage and persistence). Home to Ojibwe reservations as well as Scandinavian- and other European-American groups, the State of Superior is notable for people of mixed blood—variously called Findians, Scandindians. Economies rely on natural resources: fur trading and lumbering in the North Woods, commercial fishing on Lake Superior and mining for iron ore and other minerals. The chilling effect of Lake Superior and a shorter growing season prevents the agricultural enterprises more common to the south. Historically, the northern counties of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan are least populated and poorest. To survive, a fair number of residents traditionally log or pulp wood in the winter, fish in summer and hunt in fall to put meat on the table, pick berries and garden to put food away for winter, rely on the land for fuel, sustenance and shelter. Northern artisans often create with natural materials work that expresses an appreciation of nature. Traditional arts up north are often functional: rugs to warm floors, furniture, gun stocks, baskets for gathering and winnowing, fishing lures and decoys, and even coffins. Residents may have contentious relationships over land and water—who owns rights to Lake Superior’s tremendous reserves of fresh water? Who has the right to mine? Who legislates development? How does tourism affect quality of life for locals?
The 2012 tour will focus on the cultural and physical uniqueness of the area north of Hwy 8 and mostly west of Hwy 13. This is but a section of the true “State of Superior” but the one most manageable for a week of exploratory learning.
Educators will experience this fascinating area directly through on-site guided tours, interaction with local residents, and community-based presentations. The itinerary includes “inside the community” experiences not usually available to tourists or independent travelers and is especially designed for the needs of teachers. Potential stops include:
- Talking with members of the Lake Superior Chippewa about their efforts to protect vital resources such as the Kakogon Slough from the effects of mining
- Visiting Norsk Wood Works in Barronett to learn about living Norwegian heritage through traditionally designed architecture, building furniture and raising Norwegian fjord horses
- Traveling on the largest freshwater lake in the world a regional specialist
- Learning about modern logging practices in the Chequamegon National Forest through on-site observation of operations
In turn, participating educators will find support from tour faculty to develop place-based inquiry-driven learning opportunities for their students. Through experiences in the field and conversations with each other, educators on the tour will learn to identify and integrate local resources into their curricula, develop good working connections with their communities and their neighbors, and become advocates for including local culture in education. Participating educators will find support in how to incorporate the tour into their professional development plan.
The tour consists of five intense days of travel via bus. Some stops may involve significant walking and standing. Some days will be long, beginning by 8:00 am and lasting well into the evening. Sometimes the weather is extremely hot. Please consider your physical abilities and stamina when registering.
Overnight accommodations for the tour consist of cabins at a former CCC camp in the woods, a university dorm and local commercial lodging. Participants will share rooms.
Meals seek to extend the experience of local culture to food by including area specialties. Some menus will be predetermined and others will offer choices. Some meals may involve special ethnic recipes. Every effort will be made to provide vegetarian options however there may be limited local resources to meet special dietary needs.
Registration for the 2012 WTLC tour is only $250. The registration fee includes tour transportation, meals, and lodging. This rich experience for educators is made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and support from the Wisconsin Arts Board, UW-Madison’s Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and the Chippewa Valley Museum.
Graduate–level credits from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse are available. Tour participants can choose from 1 credit or 3 credits at the cost of $110/credit.
Participants will apply to UW-La Crosse online and will register for the course on-site when they check in for the tour. The cost of tuition is not included in the $250 cultural tour fee. Dr. Anne Pryor is the instructor of record.
Dr. Mary Hoefferle, arts educator and folklorist, Assistant Professor, UW-Oshkosh
Dr. Ruth Olson, folklorist, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, UW-Madison
Dr. Anne Pryor, anthropologist, Wisconsin Arts Board Folk and Traditional Arts Specialist
Mark Wagler, folklorist, 4th/5th grade teacher and game designer, Local Games Lab, UW-Madison
Dr. Steve Ackerman, atmospheric scientist, Director of the UW-Madison’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
Liz Reuter, Community Programs Manager, Chippewa Valley Museum
Kathleen Roy, Assistant Curator, Chippewa Valley Museum
Twenty-two seats are available to educators on this tour. We will create a waiting list if needed. Your registration is secure when you receive confirmation via email or standard mail from Chippewa Valley Museum.
WTLC is instituting a new application process this year. Please answer the appropriate question on the registration form.
If you are new to WTLC tours, attach a paragraph describing why you want to participate.
If you previously participated in a WTLC tour, attach 2 paragraphs: 1) describing how you have applied your prior WTLC experience to your classroom, and 2) describing how going on the 2012 tour will expand your teaching of local culture.
Payment must accompany registration.
To apply, print out and complete the application form (PDF) available here.
The WTLC PostCard Advertisement (PDF) is available here.
If you have questions, please contact tour coordinator Liz Reuter at 715-834-7871 or email@example.com.
We look forward to having you on this superior State of Superior tour!