A Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Elder leads the audience in prayer at the start of the Honoring Indigenous People's Day event. Riley Connell
The Onion Creek Drummers perform a traditional Native song to open the Honoring Indigenous People's Day event. Riley Connell
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Council Treasurer, Maia Spotted Tail, speaks at the event honoring Indigenous People's Day. Riley Connell
Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan and Chairman of the United League of Indigenous Nations Governing Board Frank Ettawageshik educates attendees on Indigenous history. Riley Connell
Honoring Indigenous People's Day co-organizers Donna Sinclair (left) and Jacob Hamric. Riley Connell
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow shares the importance of recognizing Indigenous People's Day in a pre-recorded message. Riley Connell
U.S. Congressman John Moolenaar speaks at the event honoring Indigenous People's Day. Riley Connell
Attendees gather in the community room on the Mt. Pleasant campus of MidMichigan College. Riley Connell
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Public Relations Director, Frank Cloutier, speaks at the event honoring Indigenous People's Day. Riley Connell
hosted an event in recognition of Indigenous People’s Day with the intention of educating the public on the history of Indigenous peoples.
The day began with a prayer from a Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
Elder and a traditional song performed by the Onion Creek Drummers. The event was open to students, administration, and community members and was held in person at Mid’s Mt. Pleasant campus and virtually from the Harrison campus.
Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan and Chairman of the United League of Indigenous Nations Governing Board Frank Ettawageshik educates attendees on Indigenous history.
To help attendees understand the importance of Indigenous history, Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan and Chairman of the United League of Indigenous Nations Governing Board, Frank Ettawageshik, spoke on the relationship between Indigenous tribes and the United States and how it has transformed to be what it is today.
“The Mt. Pleasant campus for Mid literally resides on Native land,” co-organizer Jacob Hamric says. “And so, as you heard from some of the speakers earlier, it's important to do so, and the Native community has felt sort of left out, unheard.”
Hamric says the event focuses on Indigenous history, but that it’s also important in terms of community outreach.
Several government representatives participated, including U.S. Congressman John Moolenaar who spoke in person on the importance of recognizing the strenuous history and the plight of the Indigenous community. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow sent their regards and words of recognition through a pre-recorded message.
“It's just to really celebrate and share their culture and their history with people, too,” event organizer Donna Sinclair says. “And also not just their history, but their present struggles too in the present state of affairs.”
Riley Connell is a senior at Central Michigan University majoring in journalism and minoring in broadcast and cinematic arts. She has written for CMU's student-run publication Grand Central Magazine for two years and is now the editor-in-chief. After obtaining her degree, Riley would like to become a full-time feature writer. In her free time, Riley enjoys listening to music, trying new food, and collecting vintage clothing. She grew up in Metro Detroit and currently resides in Mt. Pleasant.