Aanii my name is Mary ( Lucia ) Lynn and my Spirit Name is Waabiinongkwe and a tribal elder of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. I was born and raised in the upper peninsula and attended boarding schools in Harbor Springs Michigan and Hot Springs South Dakota. I have lived in many places but prefer Michigan because of the changing of the seasons.
I started out in Detroit as a Hairdresser, a job I truly loved. Then I moved to Laredo Texas to be with my brother and his family, watching his children grow up to become fine adults. I worked for him as a truck broker but also continued styling hair and attended college part time. While living in Laredo, I adopted my daughter Patricia at the age of thirteen. She has growing up to be a fine woman that put herself thru college and is becoming a Teacher and is active in our community . She's has given me two beautiful grandchildren Zachary and Tiffany, they are in their teens now and I am so proud of them.
With my niece, nephews and daughter growing up and moving on with their lives I decided it was time for me to move back to Michigan. Since my step Fathers death, my Mother had moved in with us so it was important that I move somewhere she would be able to reconnect with people she knew. I decided to seek out housing on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation because it was centrally located and my Mother had attended the Indian Boarding School there in Mount Pleasant.
After settling in, we were asked to help out with canning At the Seventh Generation program also to help teach sewing. We were happy to be of service since it is part of our teachings. After a few years of volunteering this became a job for me and I can only describe it as an in House Grandma's job. I was the cook there, cooking for Feasts and any events that we hosted or ones other programs held in the community building. I also taught four cooking classes during the school year teaching young people how to cook from scratch. I also held canning and cooking classes for community members.
The one thing I am must proud of was the work I did with the Women's Circle it is in my opinion the most important thing women can be involved with. The Circle is so many things but to have your sisters there to support you in your times of joy or sorrow, sharing each other knowledge, what a blessing that is. Well now I am retired but I attend Odawa Language classes and events here at my Reservation or near by.