Native Voices: Audio Portraits of the Anishinaabe

The Northwoods is home to a number of Ojibwe and Potawatomi tribes, but stories from the area’s indigenous people – the Anishinaabe – often go unheard. 

Native Voices is an effort to share those stories, told by the people who live them.

Each episode uses sound to paint a portrait of different indigenous people, casting light on local tribes’ history, culture and customs.

Erin Gottsacker/WXPR

Elliot Johnson, Ganebik Johnson and Trysten Mustache have been playing the drums since they were toddlers.

Now in middle and high school, the boys formed a drum group. They call themselves the Wigwam Juniors.

“So far we’re having drum practice a couple times a week,” Trysten says. “We’re going to be doing pow-wows all summer long.”

The drum is an integral part of their Ojibwe heritage. The songs they sing are hundreds of years old.

That’s why their grandfather, John Johnson, encourages the music.