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Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways

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2002–2004, Dow Howell Gilmore Associates. 6650 E. Broadway St., 3 miles east of Mount Pleasant
  • Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways

Sited on sixteen acres of tribal land on a cornfield south of Soaring Eagle Casino with its restaurant, hotel and conference center, parking ramp and lots, and west of the tribal police complex, this state-of-the-art cultural center was built with gaming profits. The center houses a permanent exhibit on the Anishinabe people and holds tribal documents. Its purpose is to promote the society's belief that culture, diversity, and spirit of the Saginaw-Chippewa Tribe of Michigan and other Great Lakes Anishinabek must be recognized, perpetuated, communicated, and supported. The Saginaw-Chippewa Tribe comprises three bands of Ojibwa (Saginaw, Black River, and Swan Creek) who have lived in eastern Michigan.

A round entrance pavilion gives access to the low, horizontal Ziibiwing Center, the exterior walls of which are clad in wood. Inspired by the lodge, the barrel-vaulted main reception room is the heart of the center. Its skylight represents the oculus in the roof through which smoke from the fireplace, positioned in the center of the lodge, could escape. The floor of the center is inlaid with native flower motifs. Flanking the reception room are the cafe and bookstore, and east and west corridors off of which open conference rooms, a research and collections area, an Ojibwa language lab, and offices. At the rear of the building, permanent exhibits flow in a circular pattern. The concept and schematics of the exhibits were planned by the tribal community in concert with André Knowlton Associates of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The center is landscaped with native flowers and grasses.

The center attempts to make up for past injustices—one the destructive governmental program that removed Native American children from their homes and placed them in orphanages and schools like the former Mount Pleasant Industrial Training School for Indians.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert
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Citation

Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways", [Mt Pleasant, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MI-01-IB4.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 367-368.

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