Archive | July, 2009

Ziibiwing Online Retail Store Launches

29 Jul


The Ziibiwing Center (ZC) Gift Shop opened a NEW online store last week!

The online store was launched on July 21, at 11am with a Ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council chambers located in the Tribal Operations Building. The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council was joined by members from the ZC’s Board of Directors and staff as they celebrated the launch of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s first e-commerce website,

In the late 90s the domain was purchased and the website was started, but remained in a conceptual phase. In 2007, Ziibiwing’s Commercial Services team began outlining a work plan with the Tribe’s I.T. Department to create a new webstore. After many years of hard work and preparation a dream of the ZC has finally been realized!

The new e-commerce site will now serve as the ZC’s online retail store. NativeDirect offers products currently available in the four brick-n-motar stores; featuring Anishinabe Arts and Crafts, Anishinabe Fine Art, Native Jewelery, Apparel, Craft Supply, Tobacco, and much more all at the click of your mouse!

Interested in becoming a member of the Ziibiwing? Now you can even purchase a ZC membership online at NativeDirect!

Visit today for all your American Indian merchandise!



27 Jul

The Ziibiwing Center will host a three-day celebration of American Indian culture called NativeFest Aug. 5-7. NativeFest honors the community, kicks off American Indian Sobriety Month, and supports the annual Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Pow wow which will be held at the Tribal Campground on Tomah Rd. the weekend of August 7-9.

NativeFest consists of a series of fun-filled events and entertainment for the entire family. The 4th Annual Indian Car Bingo will launch the three-day celebration in the Ziibiwing Center parking lot on Aug. 5 from 6-9pm with registration beginning at 5pm. At only $10 per person for 20 games, participants will enjoy playing bingo from the convenience of their very own cars with a chance to win fabulous prizes; including a cover-all grand prize worth $1,000. Car Bingo will be held rain or shine. All proceeds from Indian Car Bingo will benefit educational and cultural programming at the Ziibiwing Center.

Music & Comedy Night will take place on the second day of NativeFest and will be held on the grounds of the Ziibiwing Center on Aug. 6 from 6-9pm. You’ll listen to the musical stylings of Kevin Chamberlain and THE ROCKHOPPERS followed by an hour-long comedic performance by Buddy Big Mountain. Music & Comedy Night will also feature free food, free kids’ sports bouncers, free face painting & balloon animals, and $5 caricatures, photo buttons & key chains. This event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine.

A special one-day Silk Appliqué/Ribbonwork Collection Showing will bring NativeFest to an unforgettable close on Aug. 7 from 10am-3pm. This show will display select pieces from the Ziibiwing Center’s permanent collection. Many of these items have never been displayed for a general audience. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information please contact the Ziibiwing Center’s Sales & Events Coordinator, Stefanie Dombrowski at (989)775-4744. And don’t forget to come celebrate American Indian culture at the Ziibiwing Center with your family, friends, and community.

We hope to see you there!

Stone Street Project: Repatriation & Reburial of Ancestral Remains

27 Jul

Respect is one of the Seven Grandfather teachings, we at the Ziibiwing Center strive to preserve and perpetuate for our Anishinabek ancestors. The Ziibiwing Center, along with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council has been working to restore respect to the remains of American Indians found in Flint, Mich. in January of 2008.

On Monday, Jan. 28, 2009, Ziibiwing Center Curator William Johnson received a phone call from Sgt. Roderick LeGardve of the Flint Police Department concerning the inadvertent discovery of ancestral human remains.

A construction crew, contracted by the Genesee County Land Bank, was digging out a basement in the historic Carriage Town District when they unearthed human remains. The skeletal remains of the two individuals were excavated by the Michigan State Police and the Bridgeport Crime Lab and identified as the remains of American Indians by Dr. Norman Sauer at Michigan State University. Since then, up to 20 individuals have been unearthed or exposed at this historic burial site.

“The repatriation of ancestral remains is the highest priority at the Ziibiwing Center,” Johnson said.

The Ziibiwing Center has researched the site extensively and found that the City of Flint was once an established and thriving early Saginaw Chippewa village. Due to the hard work of the Ziibiwing Research Center staff, the present-day City of Flint area can now be referenced on four different maps within the Ziibiwing’s Archival Collection.

For more than a year the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has continued to advise the Genesee County Land Bank and the City of Flint on the necessary steps to be taken to mitigate this tragic situation.

The Ziibiwing Center has been given the authority by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council and the Genesee County Land Bank to coordinate a three-week archaeological excavation of the Stone Street site between Aug. 13-31. Over the three-week excavation period the splintered ancestral remains will be excavated and reinterred from over 76,000 cubic ft. of dirt at the historic burial site.

“We have to do what’s right. We must have proper dignity and respect and place them back in the earth as they once were,” Johnson said of the American Indian remains found.

We need you! The Ziibiwing Center is looking for individuals with a background in archaeological studies, anthropological studies, security, and food & beverage hospitality to assist in this mitigation effort.

 For more information please call (989)775-4750.

American Indian Dance: Social & Hoop Dancing

20 Jul

The Ziibiwing Center is proud to present Social & Hoop Dancing, featured as the fourth and final dance in a four-part series throughout the month of July. American Indian Dances – “Awaken Your Spirit” provides a glimpse into American Indian culture through dance. Each different dance represents a significant part of American Indian culture and history.

The Hoop Dance creates and brings to life unique symbols and designs of nature, such as flowers, trees, animals, and birds.  This style of dance visually shows our connection with the earth and all living things. 

Social Dances bring together people from all walks of life.  The Two-Step or Rabbit Dance is a dance for couples.  The Crow Hop honors the crow and the work it does to keep Mother Earth clean.  Inter-Tribal dancing is an opportunity to try the different styles of men or women’s dance.

Come join us this Saturday, July 25, to watch and learn about Social & Hoop Dancing at 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm shows. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information please call, (989)775-4750.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of American Indian Dance – “Awaken Your Spirit” for the last time this year!

American Indian Dance: Men’s Fancy Feather & Women’s Fancy Shawl

13 Jul

This Saturday, July 18, Men’s Fancy Feather & Women’s Fancy Shawl dances will be featured as the third type of dance in a four-part series throughout the month of July. American Indian Dances – “Awaken Your Spirit” takes a glimpse into American Indian history and culture through the art of dance.

Known for their stamina, high jumps, spins, and fancy footwork, Men’s Fancy Dancers literally amaze and excite audiences. Their regalia includes two multi-colored feather bustles that are worn around the neck and waist.

Sometimes called the “Butterfly Dance,” Women’s Fancy Dancers wear brightly colored shawls around their shoulders. Intricate beadwork and dresses match the shawls creating beauty in motion as these dancers perform dazzling footwork and spins.

Join us every Saturday in July for American Indian dance performances at 12pm, 2pm & 4pm. These events are free and open to the public.

For more information please call (989) 775-4750.

American Indian Dance: Men’s Grass & Women’s Jingle

9 Jul

This Saturday, July 11, Men’s Grass & Women’s Jingle dances will be highlighted in a four-part series, American Indian Dances – “Awaken Your Spirit”. Take a glimpse into American Indian history and culture through the art of dance.

Long ago, men’s grass dancers were responsible for preparing a ceremonial clearing through dance. This form of dance represents the movement of blowing grass.

The women’s jingle dress was born from a young Ojibwe woman’s dream to heal her people. There are 365 tin or copper cones attached to the dress that represent each day of the year.  Each cone is filled with a prayer, and as the cones “dance” the prayers are released.

Join us at the Ziibiwing Center every Saturday in July at 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm as we share different kinds of American Indian Dances. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information please call (989) 775-4750.

Orange County Choppers Visits the Ziibiwing Center

7 Jul

VaVa Vroom! Not typically something that we hear at the Ziibiwing Center, but a sound that will be accepted with much anticipation, after the Orange County Chopper’s, Paul Teutul Sr.’s May visit to the Ziibiwing Center.

Why, you ask?

Teutul Sr., metalwork mastermind and founder of Orange County Choppers, Inc. (OCC), is at what he does best; creating a custom made motorcycle. However, this time there is a refreshing twist to the OCC’s mobile artwork. The bike is being specially designed for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan in collaboration with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council, the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, and the Ziibiwing Center.

Well-known for the hit reality TV series on TLC, American Chopper, Teutul Sr. has been welding and putting together bikes for the biggest names in corporate America such as: Microsoft, Lincoln, and Coca-cola since 1999.  Since then, with the help of the OCC crew, including Teutul Sr.’s two sons, Paul and Mikey, the OCC has quickly become America’s premier builder of motorcycles.

“We’re happy to play a roll in the design and development,” said Shannon Martin, the executive director at the Ziibiwing Center.

The Ziibiwing Center has served as cultural inspiration and guidance in the creation of the design thus far, which will feature floral patterns, Ojibwe iconography, and cultural materials such as basketry containing black ash and clan symbols connected to the Thames River Petition of 1836.

Clan symbols have served as a signature for the American Indian chiefs and leaders through their interaction with the early US Government. The Thames River Petition specifically represents an agreement between the Chippewa Indians of Colborne and the Lieutenant-Governor of Canada, asking for the services of an interpreter for religious instruction.

On July 25, 2009, the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort along with, Teutul Sr. will unveil the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s custom chopper at 2pm. This event is free and open to the public. Come check out the bike unveil and show your support for a job well done!