The culture was lost. Everybody had short hair. Nobody was speaking in Ojibwe but, you know, the culture wasn't lost because people were still fishing and ricing and hunting and living within extended families. And so... all the meaningful native culture stuff you can't... destroy. - Michael Lyons referring to the time his grandfather fled boarding school and returned to Bena.
Michael Lyons is an artist, author and puppeteer using his talents to spread knowledge and understanding of Ojibwe language and culture. His puppets Nana Boozhoo and Natasha share skits and music and conversations in their podcast and on their YouTube channel that educate their fans on Anishinaabe words, stories and history. They've been featured on the morning show since August and we've loved the magic they add to our mix of national news and local features. In this segment, Michael shares excerpts from his family's history that inspired his passion for spreading awareness of Anishinaabe culture and shaped his multi-faceted view of Indian boarding schools.
In addition to the Boozhoo Nana Boozhoo podcasts, Michael has written several books dedicated to Anishinaabe culture.
...you kind of have to let go and let... the great spirit guide you. I was very depressed not living authentically and even when I became... braided hair, choker wearing militant native I wasn't being that authentic then either. When I just started being true to my my own life story and when I started to try to help other people with problems that I had using art or using something that I enjoy, then it's kind like the world, the universe worked with me. - Michael Lyons