Want to learn more about Michigan Tribal Nations?

Visit these ten places throughout Michigan.

December 12, 2016 - Author: ,

The state of Michigan has many spectacular sites to see, a deep history of tradition and many cultures to learn about. As a peninsula state, a person is able to learn many interesting facts that will help to expand your mind as you travel from the shore to shore. Michigan is home to the Anishinaabek, which include the Odawa/Ottawa, Chippewa/Ojibway and the Potawatomi.

Each tribal nation is rich in culture, sovereignty and unique history to Michigan. These tribal histories and impact on Michigan can be found throughout the state. Below is a list of places for people to visit that provide information and experiences that tell the Michigan Anishinaabe story from their own perspective:

  1. Twelve federally recognized tribal nations
  2. Mackinac State Historic Parks
  3. Headlands International Dark Sky Park - Emmet County
  4. River Raisin National Battlefield Park - National Park Service
  5. Michigan History Museum
  6. Michigan Women's Historical Center
  7. Michigan State University Museum: The Native American Collection
  8. Harbor Springs Area Historical Society
  9. Northern Michigan University - Center for Native American Studies
  10.  Central Michigan University - Clarke Historical Library

Michigan Tribal Nations have continued to engage in economic development projects that aim to increase the community prosperity. A project that has brought more tourism to Michigan is a 12-mile area of land on the shore of Keweenaw Bay and two Upper Peninsula Communities.  Tom Durkee, wrote about the partnership between the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in the article "Exploring Native American Culture: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Embraces path to connect L'Anse and Baraga villages". The project included a built walk-and-bike path across diverse landscapes and connecting the tribal reservations L’Anse and Baraga. A few documented results of this project include:

  • A major boost to the region’s economy
  • Unification of communities
  • Increased promotion of health
  • Increased in tourism
  • Increased  opportunity for visitors to learn more about the region culture and history

A partnership between the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Department of Repatriation, Archives and Records and the Mackinac State Historic Parks has made it possible for visitors to Mackinac Island to learn more about the Native American Culture. The Native American Cultural History Trail is an 8-mile motor less highway that features six individual panels that discuss the history of the Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes.  According to Phil Porter, Director of the Mackinac State Historic Parks, “these new informational panels will educate the public and provide perspective about the pre-contact history, trade, culture and more.” The information for the panels was drafted by Eric Hemenway, Director of Archives and Records, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in addition to the staff from Mackinac State Historic Parks. The Mackinac Island Native American Cultural Trail - Interpretation Sites are strategically positioned around Mackinac Island.  There are many more projects that Michigan Tribal Nations and community partners are collaborating on to expand the publics knowledge about Michigan’s first inhabitants and to increase the economic development of Michigan. 

Tags: business, community, msu extension, tourism


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