Native American author, speaker talks about heritage

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SOUTH BELOIT (WREX) — Native American author and speaker Kim Sigafus talked about her culture and heritage.

Sigafus has spent her life talking about the history of the Ojibwa tribe. She discovered her American Indian heritage later in her life.

“I was about 19 or 20 and from then on, they (her Native American family) took me under their wing,” Sigafus said.

She says learning about her culture was very important to her, and now she’s excited to share that with others.

“It’s very important for any culture to be able to pass that on because the people now are not going to be here forever and so we want to make sure that culture lives on,” Sigafus explained.

To keep her culture alive, she passes one Native American music and dance to her children and grandchildren. Donning a traditional jingle dress, Sigafus taught members of the audience a tribal dance known for healing.

Executive Director of Nature at the Confluence, Therese Oldenburg, says it important that people like Sigafus share their story.

“This was the largest Native American village in the Illinois and Wisconsin territory,” Oldenburg explained. “About 700 people lived here along beautiful Turtle Creek near the Rock River confluence.”

Both Sigafus and Oldenburg say they are glad people in the community want to learn about their culture.

“It was really a wonderful turnout today,” Oldenburg said. “So many people are interested in hearing about the Native American culture and Native Americans.”

Sigafus does about 50 events a year and she’ll be back here in South Beloit on October 13th.

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