WUOMFM

native americans

TradingCardsNPS / Wisconsin Historical Society WHi-3957 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

You've probably heard of the Trail of Tears, when more than 4,000 Native American men, women, and children died in a series of forced removals from their homeland in the Southeastern U.S. to present-day Oklahoma. They were members of the Cherokee, Seminole, Muscogee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations.

But there was another Trail of Tears much closer to us. It's the Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850. Hundreds of Ojibwe people died as the U.S. government tricked them into leaving their homes in the Upper Great Lakes and traveling to northern Minnesota. 

It's known as the Chippewa Trail of Tears, and the Wisconsin Death March.

All photos courtesy of the LTBB Odawa Repatriation, Archives, and Records

You have probably heard the phrase “school of choice” used when describing public education options in Michigan, but what about a “school of no choice?” That was the case for many native Michiganders for over a century.

Courtesy of the filmmakers

A new documentary film from brothers Adam and Zack Khalil tells the stories of the Ojibway tribe in their hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. They use ancient prophecies of the Ojibway to explore modern Anishnaabe culture and its challenges.

Adam Khalil talks with Stateside about his documentary film INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./]. 

Wild rice harvesting
Dan Kraker

For generations, Native Americans in the northern Great Lakes have harvested wild rice. It's an important food source. For some it's a way to make a little extra cash. And it's a cultural touchstone that tribal members are trying to pass on to younger generations.

Anishinaabemowin teacher Chris Gordon with his students at the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe School in Sault Ste. Marie.
Credit Rick Smith / Win Awenen Nisitotung

Language is an essential part of preserving the ancient ties to heritage and culture. And with the native language of the Ojibwe people starting to fade, Chris Gordon has made the preservation of his family's language part of his life's mission. 

Gordon is the first teacher in the state of Michigan to get a K-12 Foreign Language-Native teaching endorsement. He teaches Anishinaabemowin (pronounced a-NISH NAH-BEM-when), the native language of the Ojibwe people, at the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe School in Sault Ste. Marie.

Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Thousands of Michiganders fought for the Union during the American Civil War, but one group of soldiers in particular stood out: Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters.

To tell the story of this special group, the Michigan History Center's Steve Ostrander and Eric Hemenway, director of archives and records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, joined host Cynthia Canty on Wednesday for Stateside's weekly history lesson.

Josephine Mandamin(center) with fellow water walkers near Harrow, Ontario.
Courtesy of For the Earth and Water

The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet. But their future is uncertain.

Every year, a Native American group called the Mother Earth Water Walkers treks hundreds of miles around the Great Lakes to raise awareness of water issues in the region.

This year, the group is making its 2,000 mile trip from Duluth, Minnesota to Matane, Quebec.

Stateside producer Mercedes Mejia caught up with the group near Leamington, Ontario, and learned that the walk is more than a call to action. For many, it's a spiritual journey that connects them to each other and to other indigenous communities.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Attorney General Bill Schuette says the Michigan schools superintendent can't withhold state aid from school districts with American Indian mascots or logos. Earlier this year Superintendent Brian Whiston proposed cutting up to 10% of a district's annual payment. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Schuette's opinion on the matter.

They also talk about a ruling that temporarily halts state funding to private schools, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen's federal court nomination delay, and whether the an iconic Detroit hat shop is a casualty of rising downtown rents.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The use of Native American logos and images for school mascots is once again in the spotlight.

On Thursday the Michigan Attorney General weighed in on whether the State Superintendent can withhold money from schools that refuse to change their mascots.

In the opinion, Schuette says there’s no rule or portion of the school code that lets the Superintendent keep money from schools as a penalty for their mascot.  

Last February, the State Superintendent asked Schuette to weigh in on the issue.

Many schools in Michigan have grappled with whether they should dump Native American mascots and nicknames.

Plenty of things can stand in the way: history, tradition, emotion. But one Michigan tribe wants to make sure money isn’t the barrier to change.

Belding has been the Redskins since the 1940s. The entry of the school and the field boast giant stones engraved with Belding Redskins and an image of a Native American chief in a headdress.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

 

They’re known as the Mother Earth Water Walkers: Two Anishinaabe grandmothers and a group of Anishinaabe women and men, walking the perimeter of the Great Lakes, hoping to raise awareness of the environmental and manmade threats against the lakes.

They began walking in 2003, and over the next six years walked all of the 11,525 miles around the Great Lakes.

Now the story of the Water Walkers is told in a children’s book by Michigan author Carol Trembath, with illustrations by David W. Craig.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

In a late night vote, the Paw Paw School Board voted to keep the Redskin name and image as its mascot.

Supporters for keeping the mascot say the name is not used in a derogatory way and is a respected identifier for the community.

Paw Paw High School sophomore Morgan Dwyer says changing the name is an issue being pushed by outsiders, who she likened to school bullies.

“Ever since you’re little your parents always tell you, don’t shape who you are to please other people and I mean, I don’t know, I just feel this whole ordeal is a bigger version of that,” she said.

Environment Agency Survey Open / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

We could be on the cusp of learning a lot more about the native cultures that inhabited Michigan before European settlement.

Meghan Howey is a researcher at the University of New Hampshire joined Stateside to talk about how she and her team has been using technology to find Native American cache pits. 

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Changes are coming to a tribal agreement with the state and Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi that would help schools change their mascots. 

The amendment will put money into a new Michigan Native American Heritage Fund. The fund is run by a board that will send the money to private and public schools that want to, “promote positive relationships with and understanding of the history and role of Michigan’s Indian tribes,” the tribe said in a press release. 

NHBP Tribal Chair Jamie Stuck says there is a cost barrier associated with changing a school’s mascot.

Ferland told us he's planning on setting up a few more tents for protestors at Standing Rock.
Courtesy of Michigan Host Tent at Standing Rock / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Several Native American tribes and Canadian First Nation tribes are joining members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe say the pipeline will contaminate water and other resources and damage land that is sacred to the Sioux.

It’s a major pipeline for Energy Transfer Partners. According to an NPR report, it’s a $3.8 billion project that would pump 500,000 barrels of oil a day.

Regis Ferland lives in Mount Pleasant. He and his cousin Amos Cloud have set up a 16-foot by 32-foot army surplus tent near the protests at Standing Rock.

Their plan is to make it a place to stay for people from Michigan who join the protest.

The film focuses on tribes in the midwest
Screen grab of "Our Fires Still Burn"

Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience is a documentary film that follows the lives of Native Americans who are fighting to keep their culture and traditions alive for us here today and for future generations.

Levi Rickert is one of the film's producers. He joined us to talk about Our Fires Still Burn, the resurgence of Native American culture he's seen in his lifetime, and what he hopes people will take away from the film. 

Punkin Shananaquet, a member of the Gun Lake tribe, holds a Gete Okosman squash at the Gteganes Farm.
Jijak Foundation

There's an ancient variety of squash that was largely forgotten about. But it’s been rediscovered.

Tribes around the Great Lakes region are sharing the seeds of this squash with each other and with small farmers.

Sarah Hofman-Graham works at Eighth Day Farm in Holland, Michigan. She invited me to a dinner party featuring a soup made from an ancient squash. The soup tasted sweet and mild.

Sacramento Knoxx performs at Michigan Radio
Ben Foote

As part of Michigan Radio’s Songs from Studio East series, this year we are exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the world.

Today, we meet Sacramento Knoxx from southwest Detroit.

Knoxx is a hip hop artist who blends Mexican and indigenous music into some of his songs.


Uniting Three Fires Against Violence advocacy organization logo.
Uniting Three Fires Against Violence

The Next Idea

How does a community address domestic violence and sexual assault when calling the police is not often an option?

This is the question facing Native communities in Michigan, according to Lori Jump and Rachel Carr of the advocacy group Uniting Three Fires Against Violence.

The City of Ypsilanti is considering renaming Columbus Day "Indigenous Peoples Day."

Mayor Amanda Edmonds wrote the resolution to make the change.

She said renaming Columbus Day would be a "relatively simple" symbolic gesture to recognize the region's Native American heritage.

“[This isn't] the only thing that needs to be done to recognize, to celebrate, to honor [indigenous peoples] and to right some of the wrongs, but it is one step,” Edmonds said.

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

Anishinaabemowin is the language that was spoken by tribes in Michigan for millennia, and it’s near extinction in the state.

Many Michigan tribes don’t have any fluent speakers left, while those that do are only reporting between one to three fluent speaking elders.  

Michigan tribes are doing what they can to bring the language back.

Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians Archives and Records

The original language of Michigan is dying in the state.

Anishinaabemowin was the language of the Great Lakes for millennia—spoken by the Chippewa/Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi tribes—known as the Anishinabek.

One of the biggest impacts on the language, that affected generations of families, was Native American boarding schools.


Letsgambling.blogspot.com

In 2011, the federal government opened the door to online lotteries when it lifted its ban on non-sports gambling. 

That action sent the Michigan Lottery down the cyber-path to online lottery games. With some 160,000 registered online players, it's still a small part of the state's lottery business.

But it's set up a big showdown with the Gun Lake Tribe, a showdown that's already blown a $7 million hole in the budget of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Tribe sues Michigan over land jurisdiction

Aug 25, 2015
Bkonrad / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians is suing the state of Michigan over reservation boundaries.

The tribe filed a federal complaint last week in an effort to reaffirm sovereign powers they say are guaranteed under an 1855 treaty.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Making state lottery games available online has resulted in a disagreement between the state and a native tribe.

Twice a year the Gun Lake Tribe gives a big check to the state of Michigan. Last time, in December 2014, it was more than $7 million. The money comes from the tribe’s casino, just south of Grand Rapids.

Eastern Michigan University Eagle
Kenneth Bailey / Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Michigan University officials say a controversial logo depicting a Native American will be removed from the school's marching band uniforms.

The decision comes more than 20 years after the EMU Board of Regents voted unanimously to drop the Huron as the school's mascot. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan broke ground this week on a unique farmers market.

When it opens in July, the market near Mount Pleasant will feature locally grown produce, including some from local Native American farmers.

EMU faces controversy over resurrected Huron logo

Jun 6, 2015
Eastern Michigan University Eagle
Kenneth Bailey / Wikimedia Commons

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice were at Eastern Michigan University this week to meet with President Susan Martin and a Native American student group over the school's continued use of its Hurons logo.

The retired logo depicts the painted face of a Native American with feathers.

Mlive

Traverse City has become the second city in Michigan to recognize Indigenous People's Day on the same date as Columbus Day.

Angeline Antoine is a member of the group Idle No More Michigan that put the resolution before the Traverse City City Council.

She says Columbus never set foot on American soil -- and he mistreated the natives he came into contact with.

"If we can recognize these truths, then we can open dialogue for reconcialiation and break down the barriers between the native and non-native community," she says.

Today on Stateside

Pages