Local Indigenous leader JoAnne Cook to share Anishinaabe art and culture with Arts Academy theatre students

An educator and the chief appellate judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians, Cook will lead a workshop on storytelling and ceremony.

JoAnne Cook

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians Chief Appellate Judge JoAnne Cook.

Local Indigenous leader JoAnne Cook will conduct a workshop for Arts Academy theatre students from Nov. 1 through Nov. 5. During the five-day workshop, Cook will share the culture, art, and traditions of the Anishinaabek, with a particular emphasis on storytelling and ceremony.

A resident of Peshawbestown, Michigan, Cook is an active member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians. Cook has previously served the Grand Traverse Band as a member of the Tribal Council and a tribal court judge, and is currently the Band’s chief appellate judge. She also served a term as the vice president of the Michigan Indian Judicial Association.

Cook firmly believes that tradition and culture are vital to the Anishinaabe way of life. As a judge, Cook incorporated that belief into the development of alternative courts that utilize tradition and culture to promote healing and restore balance. She currently consults with native and nonnative communities who are seeking to develop similar alternative court systems.

As an educator, Cook has taught business law at Northern Michigan College and native law and culture for Northern Michigan College Extended Education. She is currently teaching a short course, History of the Anishinaabek, for Northern Michigan College Extended Education. Cook received a degree in business administration from Ferris State University and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Cook’s residency is part of ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Under the guidance of the institution’s Curriculum Advisory Committee, instructors are encouraged to increase representation of populations that have been historically excluded in their curriculum, both in and out of the classroom.