This project documents the creation of a traditional Anishinaabe birchbark canoe by Ojibwe master birchbark canoe builder Wayne Valliere during his stay at Northwestern University in October 2021. A class of undergraduate students studying journalism and/or environmental policy and culture under the instruction of Professor Patty Loew all contributed to this project. The course, Native American Environmental Issues and the Media, which includes a class trip to the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin during their white corn harvest, prepares students to enter the worlds of journalism and environmental policy with an in-depth understanding of the inextricable connection between Indigenous communities and the environment. By showcasing Valliere’s work through a wide variety of mediums – from interactive web design to a short video documentary to written articles – the students embraced many different facets of journalism in order to tell the story.

Photo of Professor Patty Loew and her students posing outside the McCormick Foundation Center

Meet the Team

Click on a team member's name to learn more about them

Research and Writing

  • Natalie Lopez
  • Maya Mojica
  • Yunkyo Moon-Kim
  • Yonjoo Seo
  • Lexi Weintrob


  • Connie Deng
  • Michelle Liu
  • Julia MacCary


  • Alex Harrison
  • Alexander Knapper
  • Emma Stein
  • Monsterrat Vazquez-Posada


  • Kaila Nichols
  • Eddie Peabody
  • Jorja Siemons
  • Koji Taylor

Social Media

  • Virginia Langmaid
  • Isabelle Sarraf

Web Development and Interactives

  • David Deloso

Meet the Instructor

Photo of Professor Patty Loew

Patty Loew, Ph.D., is a professor in the Medill School of Journalism and the inaugural director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University. A citizen of Mashkiiziibii- the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe- Dr. Loew is a former broadcast journalist in public and commercial television. She is the author of four books, including Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal; Native People of Wisconsin, which is used by 20,000 Wisconsin school children as a social studies text; Teachers Guide to Native People of Wisconsin; and Seventh Generation Earth Ethics. In 2019, she produced a StoryMap and GPS-guided Indigenous Tour of Northwestern.

Loew has produced many documentaries for public and commercial television, including the award-winning Way of the Warrior, which aired nationally on PBS, and Faces and Places of Alaska for KATU-TV in Portland. She works extensively with Native youth, teaching digital storytelling skills as a way to grow the next generation of Native storytellers and land stewards. In 2019 Dr. Loew was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the state of Wisconsin’s Martin Luther King Jr. Heritage Award.


The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research is Northwestern University’s primary institutional space dedicated to advancing scholarship, teaching, learning, and artistic or cultural practices related to Native American and Indigenous communities, priorities, histories, and lifeways.

About the Artist-in-Residence Program

Sharing Indigenous forms of knowledge with the Northwestern community is an important part of CNAIR’s mission. Each year, the Center invites filmmakers, activists, writers, and historians to visit and engage with the Northwestern community, inviting deeper understanding of the issues important to tribal and urban communities.