Growing Up Indian
Learning basic outdoor and woodland skills is a vital part of growing up Indian.
Paula Sayers is an enrolled member of The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake, Minnesota. She is listed in the Directory of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Her art is produced mainly on a special order and commission basis. For inquiries about Pictographs, or to ask a question about rock art, please visit our Contact page. Miigwech (Thank you).
Growing up Indian
Paula grew up in the woods of Minnesota. During the early part of her life, she had many wonderful and sometimes mysterious experiences. Her families historic homestead at Fond Du Lac was the backdrop for her native upbringing and nature-based exploratory childhood.
In those early days, while attending the Medicine Lodge with her parents, the elders of her tribe advised Paula that she had a special destiny.
Like most Native children growing up in the Great Lakes area, Paula had her missteps and victories. Her grammar school and subsequent high school art classes were the springboard from which she launched her life's work with pictographs and rock art.
Those early works, dedicated to reproducing concise copies of early pictographs in the field, were the beginning of Paula's career involving cultural preservation. When asked about her initial inspiration to help preserve prehistoric American Indian art, Paula replied;
"...our spiritual dreams and visions are mostly a private matter between the Great Creator and us. When we receive inspiration or instruction from the universe pertaining to healing or following a certain path, we must act upon it, or lose these gifts given by the Great Creator."
Marias Pass, Montana. An inspiring stop on the way to the east side of the continental divide and Blackfeet territory.
Near Browning, Montana. Preserving ancient methods does not mean closing the door to evolutionary artistic expression.
Paula (center), & two siblings in their childhood backyard
Paula Sayers grew up in a traditional Native home on the site of the earliest known Ojibwe village in Fond Du Lac; annexed by Duluth, Minn. in 1895.
Sayers and her siblings spent hundreds of hours in the woods and regularly played around a large boulder on which is mounted a bronze plaque documenting the historic significance of their childhood home.
See plaques inscription (inset).
FOND DU LAC - MINNESOTA
SITE OF OJIBWAY VILLAGE
FROM EARLIEST KNOWN PERIOD
DANIEL GREYSOLON, SIEUR DU LUTH
WAS HERE IN 1679
ASTOR'S AMERICAN FUR COMPANY
ESTABLISHED A TRADING POST
ON THIS SPOT ABOUT 1817
FIRST OJIBWAY TREATY IN MINNESOTA
MADE HERE IN 1815
THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY
THE DAUGHTERS OF
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
SEPTEMBER 22, 1922