Thursday, 27 July, 2017


In 2014, the Grand Rapids City Council unanimously passed a resolution to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day to “reflect on our history and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that the Anishinaabe (Chippewa and Ojibwe) the Dakota and other Indigenous Nations add to our city.
The City's first Indigenous People's Day in October 2015 was celebrated with a mini powwow in downtown Grand Rapids with student drum and dance groups from four area schools and Leech Lake, food, and over 700 people of all ages in attendance. 
This year's celebration will focus on language which, to contemporary Indigenous people, is key to cultural preservation. As we learned in Anishinaabe Worldview Training, in the recent past Indigenous culture and language were intentionally subjugated by the US government during decades of forced removal of Native children from their families and placement in boarding schools far from home. 
Destruction of language by a dominant culture is recognized worldwide as a basic violation of human rights; the interruption of culture and family by the removal of children and the outlawing of indigenous religious practice in this country had profound and lasting impact on the health and vitality of Ojibwe and other indigenous communities across North America. 
Language, art, and music are the vessels that carry the elements of culture and identity across generations. Indigenous leaders today are focused on revitalizing language as a key element in moving their communities forward. 
The City of Grand Rapids is doing what it can to assist in this effort.
Here's the schedule for this year's events - you're invited to attend what you can and share this invitation with others: 
Monday, October 10, 3:30 pm - Indigenous People’s Day Celebration at the Grand Rapids Area Library
• Welcome – Human Rights Commission Chair Melissa Weidendorf
• Reading of resolution – Mayor Dale Adams -"Insert a link to the resolution". 
• The importance of Ojibwe language revitalization, Dan Jones, Native American Studies Program, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College 
• Ojibwe Language Signage in the City of Grand Rapids. City Administrator Tom Pagel 
• Refreshments by Friends of the Library 
Thursday, October 13, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm,. Ojibwe 101 Learning Stations at the Grand Rapids Area Library - Grand Rapids and Greenway High School students will be the teachers for this beginning Ojibwe language workshop. Attendees will learn basic words and phrases in a learning station format.
Saturday, October 15, 10:15 am | “Discovering the Little Brothers” |Story time at the Grand Rapids Area Library - Former Grand Rapids resident Chelsea Annette Durand will do a reading of her book, “Discovering the Little Brothers”, while her husband and illustrator Luke Durand creates illustrations.