Indigenous Architecture of the Northern Great Lakes

Join us for a unique symposium exploring Native American architectural traditions of the Northern Great Lakes.  Help set up a nsweogen (traditional Ojibwe birch bark house) and join experts for discussions on seasonal house forms, construction materials, air flow, storage, portability, and traditional terminology. We will set up a full winter house with cattail mats and birch bark rolls that will then be used for various classes and activities.


One of the signature class formats at GLTAG is the symposium. Symposiums combine the knowledge of several instructors and participants into a single workshop. We tend to use the symposium format for subjects that we feel would benefit from a team of instructors who bring a variety of angles, skills, and knowledge sets to a given subject. We invite anyone with a contribution to a symposium topic to share their knowledge and skills.

Hunting and Trapping Tools and Technologies

Animals are core resources for cultures worldwide, and there is a huge variety of cultural and technological aspects that have been employed through the ages to harvest animals and the resources they provide. From theory to tools and techniques, several of our instructors have specialized knowledge related to effectively and respectfully harvesting animals in different ecosystems and situations. This is a perennial favorite symposium that is sure to change how you understand ancient and modern use of animals.

Stone Tool Practicum

If your interests include making and using stone tools, this one is not to be missed. Our instructors have a wide variety of tools and real world experience using them. Hafted celts, grooved axes, flint adzes, hide tanning tools, flint knives, flake tools, hafting techniques.... the list goes on. We do more than talk about them, we break out the tools and use them for harvesting and preparing resources for other event projects. Rest assured that you will not find a better opportunity to learn about and use stone tools.

Traditional and Wilderness/Emergency Lighting

Lighting is an often overlooked technology that has taken many forms in various cultures through time. Symposiums invite anyone who has something to share, and to get things started we will have an array of lighting systems that utilize materials from the local environment. Fat lamps, balsam torches, hickory bark torches, pith candles - the list goes on. We even hear that birch bark torches have been recently put to the test spearing fish in a dugout canoe....

Traditional and Heirloom Seed Exchange

We invite everyone to bring seeds, stories, and knowledge to this exchange. GLLI will be providing samples of some of the rare and culturally important varieties in our seed bank as well. We will begin with an introduction to seed-saving and its importance, followed by open discussion and knowledge sharing. Of course, the heart of the symposium is the seeds themselves, and the opportunity to help preserve the agricultural heritage and genetics that are the result of generations of careful tending, selection, and preservation.

Sustainable Food Production in the Great Lakes Region

Join this round-table forum focused on topics related to foraging, permaculture, agriculture and gardening, fishing, hunting, and gathering in the Great Lakes Region and beyond. This is a chance for people to share regional projects, approaches, resources, ideas, and philosophy regarding what is happening now, visions for the future, and the many aspects of sustainability and permaculture.