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Te torso of the Winona statue prior to being sent to a bronze caster. Madeleine Jepsen | Col­legian

The statue of Winona, the daughter of Potawatomi chief Baw Beese, has been sent to the foundry for bronze casting. The final sculpture will be unveiled in Mrs. Stock’s Park this June. Until then, children in the com­munity will have an oppor­tunity to learn about Hillsdale’s history and the Winona statue through a col­oring page dis­tributed to local schools and youth councils.

Over the weekend, sculptor and alumna Heather Tritchka went to the Studio Foundry in Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked on the details of the wax sculpture made from a mold of the original clay she sculpted in Hillsdale. From there, the wax will be used to form a porcelain mold, which will be used for the final bronze statue.

Hillsdale stu­dents will be able to get involved in the Winona statue project while waiting for the statue unveiling with col­oring pages dis­tributed to all the area schools. Tritchka said one school, Will Car­leton Academy, even wrote her a thank-you note for the col­oring pages, which are being incor­po­rated into the school’s art classes. Will Car­leton art teacher Sarah Ses­sions said the col­oring pages have been well-received by stu­dents, who are able to color them during the free-draw time at the end of class.

Tritchka said the col­oring page, which fea­tures an image of Winona based off her sculpture as well as some his­torical back­ground on Winona, will help introduce children to the area’s Native American history.

“The whole idea is just to get the kids familiar with the piece and learn the history,” Tritchka said. “We thought this would be a fun way to introduce this to the kids, through a visual they can color and work on.”

Some stu­dents will also have an oppor­tunity to join a student council for ele­mentary schoolers and middle schoolers, as well as an advisory board com­prised of five to seven high school stu­dents, Tritchka said. The first meeting will be Mar. 23, and will be an oppor­tunity for one or two local stu­dents from each school to serve as ambas­sadors for the Winona project.

“The student council will be a little more focused on giving them the history of what we’re doing so they can take that back to their schools,” Tritchka said.

The council meeting will also feature a keynote speaker, Pro­fessor of History Bradley Birzer. He will give stu­dents back­ground on the French-Native American culture that affected the lan­guage, clothing, and religion of the area. Birzer said the French and Native American cul­tures blended together through the friendly rela­tionship between the French Set­tlers and the local Potawatomi.

High schoolers on the advisory board will have more of an oppor­tunity for direct involvement in the planning of the Winona statue and future projects.

“We’ll work with them on more of the detailed planning to get their per­spective on what would be most suc­cessful,” she said. “Also, just to teach them what it takes to have an idea and follow it through, and have them be a part of that process.”

Though the Winona statue will not be placed in the park until June, Tritchka said student involvement in the project will help the com­munity come together and learn more about the history of the Hillsdale area.