Category Archives: Culture

Changes to tribal agreement could mean fewer Native American mascots

native americansThe 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.
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Isabella county women travel to Standing Rock

For much of 2016, people from around the country gathered to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline being built near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

In December, it appeared the standoff between protesters and law enforcement had come to an end. The U-S Army Corps of Engineers denied the oil company the permit it needed to build in the area.

Some protesters however, are refusing to pack up and go home. They say they don’t trust Dakota Access Pipeline and don’t believe this is the end of the ordeal…Among the skeptical are two Mount Pleasant residents. They recently  returned from a holiday visit to Standing Rock. Sarah Adams spoke with them shortly before they left.

Jennie Jones and Lauren Richards have been collecting supplies for over a month to take to the protesters in North Dakota. Richards says the recent turn of events hasn’t changed a thing in her mind. Richards and Jones have packed their cars with supplies to help get the protesters through the winter…things like food, cold weather sleeping bags and small propane heaters.

Richards says since she posted about the trip on social media, donations of supplies and money have been coming in from all over. “People have been so generous….we’ve received some items personally from people who just know us and wanted to hand stuff off. A lot of monetary donations that’s been really helpful so we’re able to purchase some other supplies”.

Richards says even though officials like Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman have asked protesters to go home, friends in North Dakota are telling her the protest is far from over.  “We were a little concerned at first thinking we wouldn’t be welcomed or needed and that was going to be ok if that was the case however we do have a friend named John who has been out there a couple of times now. I just spoke to him a few days ago and he said they still need people and he’s connected with a lot of the tribal leaders and elders and he’s getting firsthand information. So we trust him. We trust what he says”

 Jennie Jones says she and Richards are preparing the best they can based on what they’re being told and what they’ve seen in media coverage.”It looks really cold and blizzard, a lot of wind so I’m expecting first of all, the cold, intense cold”.

 Adams: “As someone living in Michigan, why is something happening in North Dakota important to you?”  

Jones:  “Because we’re all connected. I think that’s something that people are starting to understand and realize if they haven’t yet. We really are very all connected. If we want to see things change, we need to be the ones to do it. We can no longer just sit back and watch things pass us by. It’s not the time for that. I feel really strongly in my heart that Standing Rock is the beginning of many, many, many more things and instances where people will have the opportunity to stand up and be heard. I feel people from all over the country banding together and wanting to help in some way and this is what’s happening and so it’s important to do because of that and because we can no longer be silent.”

Jones and Richards tell me future trips to help the protesters will happen if they are needed.

 

 

Over 2 million pounds of food have been delivered to Flint so far this year

food pantry-1As much as 400 thousand pounds of food are delivered to Flint residents every month. This according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The effort is part of a program that offers free high-nutrient foods available to residents to offset lead exposure.

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Michigan racism expert weighs in on national election

Dr David Pilgrim. Photo courtesy Ferris State University

Dr David Pilgrim.
Photo courtesy Ferris State University

 

Since the election of Donald Trump, advocacy groups say there has been an increase in intimidation and aggression against minorities and women. 

Dr David Pilgrim is the founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University.   It’s a collection of five-thousand racist artifacts, Some from years ago. Some from yesterday.   Dr Pilgrim says he’s processing Trump’s win. Continue reading

Soo Theatre to get a full restoration

01 Teatro Aguascalientes

A 50-thousand dollar grant was awarded by the state to Sault Ste. Marie to help restore the Soo Theatre.


Officials said the first priority will be the roof and exterior of the theatre. The theatre was built back in the 1930’s and the city plans to keep the vintage theme.

Justin Knepper is the downtown manager for Sault Ste. Marie. He said they will continue to fundraise until next fall.

“In 2017, once the snow melts we’ll be working on continuing to raise money to match the grant that we were awarded by the Michigan Council of the Arts for the roof project, that’ll be done by this upcoming fall. And while all that is going on we’ll be continuing funding sources for the full restoration.”

Knepper said the total cost to restore the theatre is estimated at seven million dollars. He said the city hopes to have major progress by the city’s 350th anniversary in 2018.

The city of Mount Pleasant is proclaiming Columbus Day, also as Indigenous Peoples Day

file0001762182018Some communities across the state refer to Columbus Day also as Indigenous Peoples Day. One of the communities is Mount Pleasant.

The city says it’s a move to recognize the history of indigenous people and the culture they bring to the community.

Nancy Ridley is the Mt Pleasant City Manager.

“Certainly the history that they bring to our community and the culture that is a part of our community as a result of it, it brings great diversity to our community.”

Ridley says Indigenous People’s Day doesn’t replace Columbus Day, it is in addition to it.

She says the Mt Pleasant Mayor will read the proclamation recognizing the day at a city council meeting this evening. Members of the Saginaw Chippewa indian tribe.will be on hand to accept the recognition and perform a ceremonial dance

Dragon Boats strike a chord with breast cancer survivors.

dragonflys_lifejacket_mediumWith thousands of teams all around the world, dragon boat racing has become a fast-growing sport. It’s also popular in the US and Canada, with festivals and races in places like Cleveland, Vancouver, and Buffalo. There’s a surprising bond with one group in particular – cancer survivors.
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Officers and state dispute whether protest turned into a riot at Kinross Correctional

Kinross_admin_building_503865_7We’re learning more details about an incident that occurred earlier this month at the Kinross Correctional Facility in the eastern Upper Peninsula. The union that represents prison guards there says the state has played down the incident… which the union describes as a full blown riot. But the Department of Corrections disagrees.

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Physician assistant suicide bill introduced by Michigan legislature

file8321273697614A new bill would make physician-assisted suicide legal in Michigan The bill is modeled after Oregon’s law, and requires two doctors to agree that the patient will likely die within six months. The patient would also have to be over 18 years-old, and meet certain criteria before getting medicine from a doctor that will end their life. Continue reading

Remembering the 1901 Train Crash

P1380327There was a horrible train crash that happened in a farm field in Michigan in 1901. 100 Italian immigrants were killed. And they were buried in an unmarked grave. That story has always haunted one local man. And inspired him to solve the mystery of where they were buried. He also hopes his gesture is one small way of helping history not repeat itself…when it comes to how poorly we have sometimes treated immigrants.
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