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.

War of 1812 Reenactment at Fort Mackinac

Yesterday, we traveled to Mackinac Island (Turtle Island) to view the reenactment of the opening “battle” of the War of 1812, where a group of several hundred Indians, British veterans (described as victims of “unconquerable drunkenness”), and French voyageurs (many not wearing any shoes), took the fort from the Americans without a shot. It is true that the terror of seeing hundreds of Indians in the woods outside the fort forced the Americans to surrender quickly.

Eric Hemenway was one of the speakers introducing the event, and as always gave a delightful and informative talk about what the event meant to Michigan Indians.

Here are a few pics: Continue reading

Milford’s Version of Michigan Indian History

From the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers:

Milford Moments in Time

According to the book “Ten Minutes Ahead of the Rest of the World, A History of Milford,” Elizur and Stanley Ruggles were attracted to the Milford area back in 1831 because of its flowing river. They were also smitten by the beauty of the land, and so they staked their claim. However, both the local waterways and rich surrounding land were utilized by many people long before these pioneers settled the area.

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