Preliminary Proposal


"Waasa Inaabidaa--We Look in All Directions" a PBS documentary, is the most comprehensive historical and dynamic contemporary portrayal of the Anishinaabe-Ojibwe (Chippewa) nation ever produced for television. The Ojibwe, the second-largest tribe in North America and located in the upper Great Lakes region, are blessed with a rich culture and history. This rare and beautiful documentary series brings to our attention the vibrant Ojibwe culture in six hour-long episodes. Each episode will span nearly five hundred years of history, from pre-contact to contemporary times, with topics such as language, leadership, economic development, education, health, and the Ojibwe relationship to the environment.

This series features over one hundred interviews with tribal elders, historians, youth, and leaders from the 19 Ojibwe Bands in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Combined with three thousand archival photographs and on-camera testimonials by noted regional historians, this series will enthrall and educate the public about contemporary Ojibwe culture and life. Original and historic artwork combined with dramatic portrayals poignantly illustrate the four seasons traditional life cycle of the Ojibwe and the radical effects of the Fur Trade, Euro-American systems and settlement on Ojibwe culture and people through the last two centuries. Powerful documentary footage and still photographs bring to life intimate portraits of contemporary Ojibwe culture and times.

The Ojibwe people have a compelling story of adaptation and survival, desperation and ingenuity, bitter betrayals and stunning victories. Though uniquely rooted in the Great Lakes region, Ojibwe history shares many commonalties with other tribal nations throughout the United States. Many Ojibwe believe that the successes of the 90's will be short-lived if they do not consolidate their power, diversify their economies, prepare their children, and inform the general public of their unique sovereign status as Anishinaabe-Ojibwe.

"Waasa Inaabidaa-We Look in All Directions" has been in production for two years and represents the input of over two hundred Ojibwe individuals and 19 Ojibwe Bands. The opportunity to view the most riveting story ever produced of the Ojibwe nation through five hundred years of change, adaptation, survival, and pride, is an opportunity for all to enhance their understanding of this intriguing nation.


I am proposing to comment about my internship at PBS where I assisted in the development of this documentary production, and to inform others of this powerful culture known as the Anishinaabe. Specifically, my web page will focus on the documentary itself; highlighting each of the 6 series with special emphasis on the nature and content of each program. Through this internship, I feel that I have taken and enlightened journey into the heart of the Ojibwe nation. It is my intent to introduce and inform others of the Ojibwe culture and this riveting PBS production.

This project has incorporated many of the areas of academic study central to my major of Interdisciplinary Studies, such as: Anthropology, American Indian Studies, Philosophy, and Humanities.

I plan to document "Waasa Inaabidaa--We Look in All Directions" by means of an in-depth series analysis, provided with various links to PBS/Ojibwe web sites, and relevant information pertaining to this project. This series will be the focus of my project, commenting briefly when needed on the nature of my work at Channel 8.


I request permission to proceed with this project and would appreciate any suggestions or criticisms you may have.

Episode 1 - Language & Origin
Episode 2 - Survival & Economic Development
Episode 3 - Leadership & Governance
Episode 4 - Environment & Relationship to Land
Episode 5 - Health & Medicine
Episode 6 - Family Systems & Education
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