- Created: Wednesday, 07 September 2016 12:35
- Written by Laura Proescholdt
For more than 50 years, people from across the Midwest visited what became known as the “Indian Bowl” to share in the culture and traditions of the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe. On warm summer evenings, they gathered in the colosseum-like seats to marvel at the powwow dancers’ intricate footwork, watch their swirling dresses, and feel the beat of the drums.
But after half a century of Wisconsin winters, the concrete seating of the Indian Bowl was crumbling, and the building was falling into disrepair. When a study showed only a $300,000 difference between renovating the facility and building a new one, the Lac du Flambeau community saw an opportunity to bolster its mission to share and sustain the Ojibwe culture. In September 2014, crews demolished the Indian Bowl to make way for the Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center. “Waaswaaganing” means “Lake of Flames” in Ojibwe, describing the look of a lake as it is spearfished by torchlight.
On August 4, 2016, the Lac du Flambeau community finally broke ground at the site of the new Indian Bowl. Approximately 60 people attended, including community members, architects, donors, students from the Abinoojiiyag Youth Center, and a Korean cultural exchange group visiting from New York. The ceremony included a prayer, speeches by Indian Bowl friends and supporters, and a celebratory picnic at the Lake of the Torches Resort Casino.