Warm December greetings to you all. Many of you may have already heard about our collaboration with the Bois Forte Heritage Center. On November 30, 2022, the final day of Native American Heritage Month, we unveiled our Bois Forte Native Names Map at the Bois Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum. This map reclaims over 100 Anishinaabe names for the lakes, islands, and rivers from Lake Vermilion to Nett Lake from widely forgotten history. 

About 100 people joined us last Wednesday for the unveiling ceremony, at which EFS and the Bois Forte Heritage Center presented the map to the Bois Forte Tribal Council. This is the first map of its kind for Minnesota’s Anishinaabe people and tribes. It has been an exciting journey and after two years of research and work, we are thrilled to be able to share it with you. 

While many people volunteered to make this map a reality, we would like here to recognize Gene Goodsky, who spent many many hours working on the map, clarifying names and locations. Sadly, Gene passed away before the map was completed. Gene is celebrated as an elder, veteran, Spiritual Advisor, teacher, mentor, medicine man, and friend and we extend our great gratitude for his life and wisdom. 

For more information about the map, dive into these articles from MPR, the Star Tribune, the Ely EchoTimberjay Newspapers, MinnPost, and this podcast from Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer. You can purchase a Legacy Edition copy now or wait until standard copies are available. These will be sold at the Bois Forte Heritage Center and the Ely Folk School. 

The completion of this map and the wonderful reaction it has generated gives us energy and reinforces the passion we have in our mission.  Please remember that everything the Ely Folk School does is made possible by individual donor support – thank you for believing in our small organization and helping make this happen. Thank you for considering the Ely Folk School in your year-end giving.

Lucy Soderstrom, Program Director

Thank you to the volunteers and donors who gave towards our Give to the Max campaign and Top Chef event. 

Thursday Makers Mornings
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Join other makers and crafters weekly at the Ely Folk School for a relaxed morning of creativity and sharing. Whether you crochet, quilt, solder, write, or weave, any project is welcome. This space is also excellent for students who did not finish a project during their class. Drop in whenever as you like, for as long as you like. 

Give someone the gift of knowledge this year with a gift card for a class. 

View full list of classes online.

Class Spotlight

Snowshoe Lacing Workshop

Friday, February 17/Saturday, February 18/Sunday, February 19
9:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Tuition: $198    Materials: $125

When the magic sparkle of snow entices you to explore the winter lakes and woods, your hand-laced Ojibwa-style snowshoes will grant you the freedom to get there in style. 

This three-day class begins with a Minnesota-made Country Ways kit that includes white-ash frames, tubular nylon lacing rated at 1,400 pound stress load, and an instruction booklet. Included in your kit will be a traditional lamp wick binding to try after you finish your ‘shoes at home with 3 coats of urethane. You’ll receive hands-on instruction every step of the way. 

Punch Needle Rug Hooking: Live Online

Mondays, January 9 – January 20, 2023
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Tuition: $144    Materials: $175   Shipping: $12

Explore the beauty and process of Oxford style punch needle rug hooking with a fine point punch (the “Mini” #14), which uses wool yarn in worsted to aran weight to create a delightful sunflower motif.  For this technique, we stretch a monk’s cloth backing over a frame, then use our punch needle to form the loops.  The process is fun and fluid, transforming basic shapes into vivid color and texture. 

Finished dimensions of the sunflower piece are 11×11 inches, and there are many ways you can use it to brighten your home, which we’ll cover in class.  Jump in start your punch needle adventures!  No previous experience necessary.