First Nations Members and Events Launching Door County Reads

Door County Reads (DCR), the Door County Library’s annual winter literary festival, will kick off with a week of events starting Jan. 20. 

The book selection for this year’s festival is Braiding Sweetgrass For Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt. The book highlights how acknowledging and celebrating our reciprocal relationship with the earth results in a wider, more complete understanding of our place and purpose. 

On Jan. 20, 1-3 pm, the Egg Harbor Library will host a DCR kickoff event featuring speaker J. P. Leary from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Leary, who wrote The Story of Act 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms, will lead an introspective discussion on how we can learn with intention. Participants will be asked to think about where their prior knowledge of the First Nations came from, and how that meshes or conflicts with scholarly and tribal points of view. The event will feature music by the Forest County Potawatomi youth drumming group, “Fire Nation.”

J. P. Leary. Photo from UW-Green Bay’s directory.

At 6 pm that same day, the Egg Harbor Library will host “Ancient Roots Homestead Journey,” a program led by Ben and Lucy Grignon of the Menominee Nation. The pair will discuss their research on traditional gardening practices from Ancient Indigenous peoples, which they use to learn, preserve, grow, seed-save, reconnect and share.

Ben, Lucy and Kesīpetiyāēmen Grignon. File photo.

The Egg Harbor Library is located at 7845 Church St. in Egg Harbor.

The Grignons will go on to present “Rethinking Education and Menominee Traditional Games” at the Door County Land Trust office on Jan. 21, 10 am – 12 pm.

The pair will discuss the initiatives they’ve created, rooted in traditional educational ways of being, to serve their students, communities and ancestors. After the discussion, participants can play traditional Menominee games and make a storytelling beaded bracelet or necklace.

The Door County Land Trust office is located at 23 N. 5th Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.

The learning continues with a Zoom presentation on Jan. 24, 1 pm. 

Led by Kat Milligan-McClellan, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the University of Connecticut, the presentation will center on finding purpose in research from an Indigenous perspective.

Kat Milligan-McClellan. Photo from the University of Connecticut website.

The meeting code and password for the Zoom call is available at The DCR kickoff event and the two events hosted by the Grignons will also be accessible via Zoom. 

On Jan. 25, Egg Harbor’s “Between the Pages” book club will meet to discuss Braiding Sweetgrass For Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants, 10:30-11:30 am. Participants and listeners are welcome.

The same day at the Sturgeon Bay Library, a movie related to this year’s DCR theme will be shown at 2 and 4 pm. 

The Sturgeon Bay Library is located at 107 S 4th Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.