Congratulations to Eric Hemenway, Winner of Michigan Humanities Award


Humanities Champion of the Year: This award is given to the person whose contributions result in outstanding public humanities impact in their community and in our state. An example would be humanities person (teacher, librarian, cultural leader) who has creatively and successfully brought humanities to the public forum. Faculty and scholars who have taken humanities to the public beyond their classroom, or brought the public into their classroom. 2019 Award Winner: Tie: Charles Ferrell, of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Eric Hemenway, of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

Bringing Native History to Mackinac Island


This has been the result of years of hard work and relationship building. Eric Hemenway has done amazing work on this.

“We want to show in the Biddle House that the tribes were not just these passive participants in history. They were making their own decisions, their own moves.”

And here’s a kid of TurtleTalk lucky enough to get a proper history lesson from Eric on Mackinac Island before the signs went up:

Presentation on Native Representations at the American Camp Association National Conference

Eric Hemenway, Anne Henningfeld, and Emily Proctor outside their well-attended panel.


Michigan Public Radio on Anishinaabemowin and the Boarding Schools


Deleta Gasco Smith works for the Little Traverse Bay Band. She attended Holy Childhood for three years of elementary school.

“When we were in the school we were actually completely forbidden to speak the language, and if we were caught, the punishment was swift and it was severe,” Gasco Smith says.

Gasco Smith’s father was fluent in Anishinaabemowin, but he was careful not to teach his daughter the language. Gasco Smith says her Dad went to the same boarding school and knew she would be beaten for speaking Anishinaabemowin.


Eric Hemenway to discuss “Native Americans in the War of 1812” at Detroit Public Library

For Immediate Release

February 4, 2014

As part of the “1812: Star-Spangled Banner Nation” exhibit, the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission is offering a series of six free Saturday lectures. All programs will take place at 2 p.m. in the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library located at 5201 Woodward Avenue in Detroit’s Cultural Center.

The traveling exhibit of 25 original oil paintings was created by the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) to help commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The paintings reflect nautical scenes from the War of 1812, including the famous battle between USS Constitution v. HMS Guerriere, August 19, 1812, in the Atlantic Ocean.The exhibit, hosted by the Detroit Public Library, is open at no charge, through Saturday, March 1st, during regular library hours.

Eric Hemenway, the Director of Repatriation, Archives and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Bans of Odawa Indians, presents “Native Americans in the War of 1812” on Sat.,Feb. 8, at 2 p.m. Hemenway currently sits on the Michigan Humanities Council, Emmet County Historical Commission and the Harbor Springs Board of Trustees.

In addition to repatriation work, Eric has been involved in five different exhibits, from national to state levels, on Great Lakes Indian history. Eric also performs educational outreach with local schools in northern Michigan, as well as speak nationally on Great Lakes history and the importance of repatriation for Michigan tribes. Eric currently sits on the Michigan Humanities Council, Emmet County Historical Commission and the Harbor Springs Board of Trustees.”

Eric Hemenway’s talk will discuss the Odawa involvement in the War and the drastic outcome it had for the tribe. He stated, “The War of 1812 represents one of the major  turning points in Great Lakes Indian history. The Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi and other  tribes would have their futures forever altered after this war. In many scenarios, the repercussions for the tribes were severe and long lasting.” Continue reading

Harbor Springs Area Historical Society Receives Grant To Portray Native Perspectives of War of 1812


The exhibit, called Turning Point: The War of 1812 from the Native American Perspective, will focus only in part on the actual events of the 1812 war.

“It’s not your typical bicentennial commemoration of a conflict, where we’re showing battles and people involved in the battles,” said Mary Cummings, who is the executive director of the historical society. “That’s just part of the story.”

Rather, said Cummings and Eric Hemenway, the exhibit will look at the events leading up to the war, and how that war affected the Odawa people of Little Traverse Bay — as well as Little Traverse Bay itself.

“There’s going to be emphasis on the men who participated in the battle — who they were,” said Hemenway, who sits on the board of trustees for the historical society and is the director of repatriation, archives and records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. His work revolves around retrieving human remains and sacred objects under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

The exhibit will feature the biographies of three Odawa leaders: Assiginac, Mokomanish and Shabanai.