• Shannon Meyers Quayle, our newly married office assistant, is at the Continuing Education Office 204 Jacobetti Complex. Hours are Tue and Thur 9-1   
  • She answers voice messages left on the NCLL phone (227-2079), emails sent to ncll@nmu.edu and mail sent to the NCLL Cohodas office. You may reach her directly at 906-227-1518.

Something to ponder...

What can you do/think about with regards to Native Americans or other races, nationalities, ethnic groups? 

  • Check yourself. About to tell a racist joke? Catch yourself in the act, and stop before you go through with it.
  • Step outside your comfort zone. Learn about people of other cultures, ethnicities, and religions. The more you learn about others, the less likely you are to judge them.
  • Correct others when they stereotype. When you hear others make racist, offensive, or stereotypical remarks, call them out on it! When engage others in discussion of their own prejudices, we engage in positive dialogue and increase our own awareness as well.

Read more from the NCLL Native American Experience Sampler Program in July 2019



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What is the NCLL?

The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning (NCLL) is an organization that plans and offers informal educational programs and activities to enrich the daily lives of its members and others through mini-courses, regular programs, outdoor activities and social events.  More in About Us

When and how often are programs offered?

NCLL offers programs suggested by NCLL participants and community members who share their interest and desire to learn and stay active with others. More than twenty classes or events are offered each term in the day or evening - summer/fall, winter, and spring. If you have an interest, hobby, activity or experience you would like to share please contact the NCLL office, director or attend an NCLL Curriculum Committee Meeting! For more information on booklets and registration, see the Programs/Events page.


NCLL Testimonial ...
"They [NCLL] offer such a wonderful variety of events, & at such a great variety of times, I can usually pick many events that I can attend out of every offering. I have never been disappointed, & the people are very welcoming."

Bruce Greenwood, NCLL member


Who is eligible to join or attend programs?

Membership and programs are open to any adult interested in pursuing intellectual, recreational, and/or social activities. NCLL membership dues for the 2016-2017 year are $30 with a charge for most classes; $3 for members and $6 for non-members.   More information


What are NCLL interest groups?

Initiated and managed by NCLL members, interest groups function independently of NCLL. We encourage folks to get together around particular activities they enjoy.  Current on-going interest groups include Relaxed Bridge and Lunch Out Together. Learn more


NCLL Memberships Makes Great Gifts!

Are looking for a unique, and useful gift, yet one that is personal and will be enjoyed again and again?

For just $30 you can purchase a gift membership for friends and loved ones. NCLL offers 80-90 programs each year that cover the arts, history, culture, tours, field trips, science, nature, hiking, snowshoeing, potlucks, health issues and MORE. Send check and recipient name and contact information to the NCLL Office and an email greeting and registration information will be forwarded to the recipient. Hard copies of the Program Booklet with the registration form and calendar are also available upon request.

Give the gift of learning!


A Sampling of NCLL Programming

Visit us on Facebook - you don't need a Facebook account to see the activities 

July 2019 - Native American Experience - Sampler

What can you do/think about with regards to Native Americans or other races, nationalities, ethnic groups? 

  • Check yourself. About to tell a racist joke? Catch yourself in the act, and stop before you go through with it.
  • Step outside your comfort zone. Learn about people of other cultures, ethnicities, and religions. The more you learn about others, the less likely you are to judge them.
  • Correct others when they stereotype. When you hear others make racist, offensive, or stereotypical remarks, call them out on it! When engage others in discussion of their own prejudices, we engage in positive dialogue and increase our own awareness as well.

NCLL participants received a sampling of NAS 204, an actual course at NMU focusing on “The Native American Experience.The actual course description for NAS 204/Native American Experience: A study of the development of Native American history, culture, attitudes and issues from the prehistoric era to the contemporary scene, focusing on native culture in the Great Lakes region. Shared native world view, contact experience and native peoples’ contributions to world culture are an important part of the course. For those interested in what degrees are available via NAS (Native American Studies): Bachelor degree, Minor, Associate, Certification, Master’s in American Indian Education Administration. The NAS programs at Northern Michigan University prepare students for futures in respectful tribal engagement, education and traditional arts, language learning, community and environmental work, research and academic pursuits within the discipline of Native American Studies.

Our program presenter Shirley Brozzo, is a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and a contingent full professor for the Center for Native American Studies at NMU.  Brozzo is also the Associate Director of the Multicultural Education and Resource Center at NMU.  Additionally, Shirley is a storyteller,  published author, and poet.

BOARDING SCHOOL BENEFITS AND HARM In an attempt to assimilate the children into the mainstream American way of life,  thousands of Native American children were voluntarily or forcibly removed from their family and homes and placed in government-run boarding schools. A goal to make them accept white men’s beliefs and value systems was paramount.  They were stripped of their traditional clothing and their hair was cut  short (a source of shame for Native Americans). Siblings were separated and had their given names, religious beliefs/traditions, food and cultural traditions taken away. They were exposed to diseases such as measles and influenza, that their native nations had no immunity. Other abuses and worse were common and documented. They were forbidden to speak their language and punished if they did so. Many students who returned to their reservations after the boarding schools experienced alienation, language and cultural barriers, and confusion.

NEW SKILLS/TEAM LEADERSHIP Coercive assimilation into the mainstream culture made gains as girls learned to cook, clean, sew, care for poultry and do laundry for the entire institution. Boys learned industrial skills such as carpentry, agriculture, blacksmithing, and shoemaking.

They also learned to socialize with other children, played team sports and learned team building skills. These learned boarding school skills were beneficial in obtaining employment and learning how to navigate their new environment. The military regimen also made it easier to  adapt to military service.  Many of the “code talkers” attended boarding schools and found it ironic that the same language they were forbidden to speak was instrumental in winning the war.  .

The trade-off:  The loss of their traditions, culture, family life and identity took a toll. According to research childhood trauma affects the health and well-being later in life. Childhood trauma such as war, separation of children from their families, terrorism, racial discrimination — and historical trauma, where the physiological effects of trauma are passed from generation to generation. If separated from family life and role models at an early age it would be difficult to have a positive and direct line to relationships and family life. So, did the benefits outweigh the costs???

Program participants found the program educational and interesting, and had many questions and positive comments. The interaction between the participants and the presenter added to  the program experience.

STEREOTYPES One of the most common stereotypes is that all Native Americans are  alcoholics. According to a study published by the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) white people – specifically white men -- are more likely than any other demographic group to drink alcohol on a daily basis, start drinking at a younger age, and drive while under the influence of alcohol. This same study acknowledges that the alcoholism that does exist within Native American culture is linked to the culture’s history of economic disadvantages and racial discrimination. With regard to boarding schools it might be plausible that the experience caused issues that made it difficult to cope, re-engage in life.

 The shame and abuse from trauma suffered by Native peoples, and the forced disconnection from culture can lead to alcohol abuse to ease the pain. Those that do suffer from alcoholism within the Native community may be trapped in a cycle of oppression and hardship that’s difficult to break free from resulting in repeating via the next generation. 

RECEIVING SPECIAL BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES FROM THE GOV'T The U.S. government took tribal lands belonging to Native Americans. Yes, some Native Americans receive educational benefits like subsidized or reduced tuition and Pell Grants, but so do other historically disadvantaged people, like the disabled and war veterans. By giving Native people educational and monetary advantages, we are simply fulfilling a legal contract in exchange for the cessation of their land. This “special treatment” is not, in fact, special treatment, but rather, part of an agreement that still stands today. Did you know that Northern Michigan University sits on the ancestral homeland of Native Americans?

STORYTELLING Native American culture uses stories and songs to entertain as well as a way to teach the youth. Storytelling is an important tool in the Native American society. Storytelling also passes down history and traditions of their culture. 

FROM:  Clarence Sherrick,   https://www.Quora.com

Probably the best of the Native American oral storytelling tradition center around Coyote, Rabbit and Wolf. However almost every indigenous animal of North America is referenced in these stories. All of which are told somewhat differently from tribe to tribe. Coyote and Wolf are often two different versions of the same antagonist versus Rabbit as the protagonist. Rabbit is often the center of the moral teachings of the various Native American Tribes.

On a beautiful day, Rabbit decides to hop across a shallow stream to get some succulent plants on the other side. He uses a series of boulders sticking up out of the water to easily and safely cross. He lazily roams about eating the lush vegetation to be found on the other side of the stream. Basically, losing track of time. Unfortunately, he has traveled too far from the shallow stream and a cloudburst has started to fall in the distance. Plus it is not that far away before darkness arrives. He needs to quickly get back across that shallow stream to the safety of his burrow. He races to where the stream was and finds a wide swollen river now in his path. He races up and down looking for a way across. He sees Bear and asks him to help him across, but bear is too busy eating his fill of sweet berries. He rushes over to Badger, but Badger has his nose buried in the ground. He asks Turkey to help and Turkey says he cannot swim. Finally Rabbit sees Snake. In desperation he begs Snake to carry him across. Which Snake eagerly agrees to do. Rabbit climbs upon Snake's back and the serpent begins to slither across the swollen River. When the two finally reach the other side, Snake quickly lashes out and bites Rabbit. Why did you do this?" queries Rabbit with his last breath. Snake answers:" You knew I was a snake when you climbed aboard my back and I cannot help being what I am." 

Article written by Sally Olsen

May 2019

Dr. Mary Martin of the NMU Biology Department gave a beginning field course on lichens held at Wetmore Landing. The Mining Journal article is a good record. 

Likin’ lichens - Wetmore Landing good place for finding unique organisms


February 2019

Did you miss Sonny Longtine's NCLL presentation, "U.P. People: Incredible Stories about Incredible People"? It was reported in a Mining Journal article "Local author shares tales of U.P. people who made their mark".  Sonny’s latest book covers 42 people from across the UP from the 1850’s to present time. Sonny said, “They are entrepreneurs and inventors, and have made a significant impact on the UP.” He also included some people who were just too interesting to ignore. 

See more articles under Archives

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On going through the term


More than Beginning Photography
Generally 3rd Wednesday, 
Cohodas Hall, Room 404A


Woodworker Rally
Mondays during most of NMU academic semesters
NMU Jacobetti Center, Room 137


#134: Woodworking Rally II
Mondays, Oct. 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11, 18, & 25   8am-noon
Jacobetti Center, Room 137
Liaison: Jan Hruska, 225-1871, janiwannie@aol.com 

#204: Bringing Smiles Across the Miles

Tuesday, November 19   7 – 8:45 p.m.
Location: PWPL Heritage Room
Sally Olsen, 226-8347, solsen@nmu.edu

#205: More than Beginning Photography

Wednesdays, November 20, January 22, February 26  11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: NMU Cohodas Hall, Room 404-A
Phyllis James, 225-1004, hoosieryooper80@gmail.com

#207: Get Your Docs in Order - Advanced Directives

Tuesday, December 3   2 - 4 p.m.
Location: Lost Creek, Community Center, 200 Lost Creek Dr.
Paula McCormick, 228-5489, puree_cat@hotmail.com

#208: Creation of the Phil Niemisto Statue

Thursday, December 5  1 - 3 p.m.
Location: PWPL Marquette Arts and Culture Center
Phyllis James, 225-1004, hoosieryooper80@gmail.com

#209: Curriculum Committee Spring 2020

Mondays, Dec. 9, Dec. 16, Jan. 6
Location: TBD
Caroline Jordan, 228-9953, asheanna4@yahoo.com

#210: Senior Scams

Tuesday, December 10  2 - 4 p.m.
Location:  Lost Creek, Community Center, 200 Lost Creek Dr.
Marie Watanen, 226-3186, watanenm@chartermi.net

#211: Tips for Feeding Birds During the Winter

Thursday, December 12  2 - 4 p.m.
Location:  PWPL Shiras Room  
Caroline Jordan, 228-9953, asheanna4@yahoo.com

#212: Basketball 101

Tuesday, January 7  4 - 6 p.m.
Location:  Berry Event Center Basketball Court
Phyllis James, 225-1004,  hoosieryooper80@gmail.com




#206: Grandview Then & Now

#216: Cribbage

#225: Yard Care/Landscaping