6650 E. Broadway • Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Phone: 989-775-4750 • Fax: 989-775-4770
Open Mon. thru Sat. 10am - 6pm • Closed Sundays

Shannon Martin, Director • smartin@sagchip.org or William Johnson, Curator • wjohnson@sagchip.org
Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways • 6650 E. Broadway • Mt. Pleasant, MI  48858
Phone 989.775.4750 • Fax 989.775.4770 • www.sagchip.org/ziibiwing


For Immediate Release - August 21, 2012


Mt. Pleasant, Michigan The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways are pleased to announce that they are the recipients of a National Park Service Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) grant in the amount of $13,593. The grant will support the Tribe’s efforts in repatriating ancestral human remains and associated funerary objects from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Ziibiwing Center has been working diligently on behalf of the tribe since 2004 to bring home ancestors from the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropology.

On August 2, 2012, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced that the National Park Service awarded $1,663,382 in grants to assist Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages and museums with implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which assists in the return of human remains and cultural objects to their native people.

“Returning cultural items to their inheritors and human beings to their descendants so they may be interred with dignity is unequivocally the right thing to do,” Secretary Salazar said. “With these grants, I am pleased that we are continuing to take steps to right a historic wrong.”

The Federal funding will facilitate the ancestral disposition under 43 CFR 10.11 (c) (ii) and reburial of the physical remains of 120 Native American individuals and 219 associated funerary objects (Fisher Site) from the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropology (UMMA). The Fisher Site excavation took place on private land near Pleasant Lake in Lapeer, Michigan in 1973, which is within the Saginaw Chippewa’s territory. The planned repatriation and reburial will be executed in collaboration with the UMMA; and 11 other federally-recognized tribes and 2 state historic tribes that comprise the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation & Repatriation Alliance (MACPRA). The UMMA posted a Notice of Inventory Completion and Notice of Intended Disposition in the Federal Register on December 23, 2011.

"The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is one of the most important tools we have to address violations of human rights against native nations, individuals and their ancestors," said Director Jarvis. "I am proud that the National Park Service plays a key role in implementing this policy of protection for American Indian and Native Hawaiian peoples and culture."

The reburial site will be the Tribe's Nibokaan Ancestral Cemetery which was established in 1995 for the explicit purpose of reburying repatriated Native American ancestral remains and associated funerary objects. The Nibokaan Cemetery is located on the Saginaw Chippewa's Isabella Indian Reservation which is classified as Federal Trust Land.

The National Park Service NAGPRA grant funding will provide for Spiritual & Archaeological Consultants, Tribal Elders, and 2 representatives from up to 5 Tribes, including relatives from the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy Montana, to assist with the repatriation and reburial; as well as to support all protocols necessary for the transfer to take place in October 2012.

The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways in Mount Pleasant, Mich. is the Midwest's Premier American Indian Museum. Established in 2004, the Ziibiwing Center is a distinctive treasure created to provide an enriched, diversified, and culturally relevant educational experience through its award-winning Diba Jimooyung (Telling Our Story) permanent exhibit, changing exhibits, research center, Ojibwe language immersion room, gift shop, Wi-Fi coffee & media lounge, and meeting rooms. The Ziibiwing Center is a non-profit cultural center and museum belonging to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan who also own Michigan's only four diamond casino resort, the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, and the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino located in Standish, Mich.

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