Dylan Jennings dancing

Winter Tales Workshop: "Integrating Tribal Sovereignty and American Indian History into the Classroom" by Dylan Jennings

Join the Spurlock Museum for an educator workshop Integrating Tribal Sovereignty and American Indian History into the Classroom by Dylan Jennings (Bad River Band, Lake Superior Ojibwe). The workshop is appropriate for K12, university, and community educators of all disciplines. For centuries, Native American Peoples have helped to shape the landscape. Treaties, tribal history and federal recognition of tribes tend to be gray areas for educators. What is tribal sovereignty? What is my role as an educator? How do I respectfully incorporate Native American values and teachings into my work? Learn about the importance of enriching your classroom with relevant American Indian values, language, and culture. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. Contact Kim Sheahan at or 217-244-3355 with your questions or registration requests.

This workshop is part of the Spurlock Museum’s 17th annual Winter Tales celebration honoring the cultures of Indigenous Americans and the wisdom and practices they share with others. Also included in this year’s events are a talk on the environmental work being done by many tribal communities, a talk on powwows, and a family concert of storytelling and traditional teachings. Visit the Events page for dates and times. All events are free.

Bizhikiins is the name that was given to Dylan Jennings. He is a Bad River Tribal member and a UW Madison Alumni. In addition, Mr. Jennings is an elected Tribal Council Member for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. As an elected official, Mr. Jennings works diligently to provide opportunities for the 8,000 tribal members he serves. He serves as the appointed Council Liaison for the JOM Education Committee and is also a member of the Bad River Drug Task Force. He is a staunch advocate for education, language preservation and environmental protection.

Dylan also serves as a cultural resources specialist and archaeologist. His training and experience with fieldwork, reporting, and curating, have helped multiple tribal communities throughout the region. Dylan is an avid participant in local ceremonies and customs and is a lifelong Ojibwe language learner.

Currently Dylan assists educators with implementing culture and traditional ecological knowledge in the classroom. His knowledge of tribal sovereignty and treaty rights assists educators in understanding the importance of culturally relevant and responsive curriculum. Dylan and his team have developed multiple materials for educators to utilize. Dylan also sits on the Wisconsin Act 31 Committee. Act 31 is a Wisconsin State Statute that mandates educators to teach about American Indian History and culture in the classroom.

Dylan is also a motivational speaker. He speaks on topics such as bullying, treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, leadership, and traditional teachings that help us interact with peers. He has also facilitated large groups in learning to pow-wow dance for health. 

Dylan Jennings dancing

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For further information or to register, contact Kim Sheahan at (217) 244 - 3355 or .

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at (217) 244-5586 or cudiamat@illinois.edu (email link).