Youth experience traditional travel

Our young men and women canoed down the Manistee River this August 15–17, thanks to our Department of Language and Culture and Tribal Police.

The group, which included 12 youth, Language & Culture staff and officers Kevin Modlin, Jaime Sumners, and Abigail Shanahan, stayed at the Manistee National Forest at Seaton Creek Campground in Mesick, Mich. This was the first year female youth had the opportunity to attend due to Officer Shanahan being able to attend and serve as a chaperone. 

A Little River Band Elder visited during the first night. He was gracious enough to share some of his teachings of the land they were visiting and shared some information about the Manistee River. He shared some of his teachings on trade and answered questions.

They spent the majority of August 16 on the Manistee River, stopping at various locations to swim, go fishing, and eat lunch. There was a wide range of canoe experience from youth never being in a canoe to youth who were experienced paddlers. Officers Modlin and Sumners kayaked alongside them to assist and give instructions.

At the campsite, they discovered a swimming hole, which is where they spent the remainder of the day swimming and swinging off a rope into the water until dark.

Participants stayed in tents with no electricity or running water and prepared all their meals themselves.