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Keep Cool in July with the Ziibiwing

5 Jul

Things are heating up outside, but the Ziibiwing has some cool things coming up for you to do.


American Indian Dances

Every Saturday in July at 12 noon, 2 pm & 4 pm. Dance performances will be held in the Ziibiwing Center lobby. These events are free and open to the public.

July 7th – Men’s and Women’s Traditional

July 14th – Men’s Grass and Women’s Jingle

July 21st – Men’s Fancy Feather and Women’s Fancy Shawl

July 28th – Social and Hoop


Sundance Institute Youth Film Lab and Film Screening

Friday, July 20th

 Youth Film Lab Workshop at Ziibiwing Center 11am – 3pm (all ages)

Celebration! Cinema Community Screening 6 – 9pm (16 and up recommended)

4935 East Pickard Road,Mount Pleasant,MI48858

Reception to Follow

Three Fires Ballroom, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort,6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd., Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

 Contact Glenna Genereaux at (989)775-4744 for more information

Heid Erdrich: Book Reading & Writing Workshop

Saturday, July 21st

Join us for a book reading and writing workshop with Heid Edrich, award-winning author and poet of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway. The writing workshop will be from 11am to 1pm followed by a reading from 5 to 6pm.





Changing Exhibit Closes

July 28th

 Come in before this great exhibit closes. The Anishnaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag “Native Kids Ride Bikes” exhibition presents lowrider bicycles created by urban Native youth, contemporary Indigenous artists, and non-Native college students.


What is a Petroglyph?

16 Jun

Between 300 – 1,000 years ago our Anishinabe ancestors etched carvings into the sandstone around the Cass River near Cass City, Michigan. The images of water panthers, archers, and deer are Michigan’s only known rock carvings attributed to American Indians.

The petroglyphs were discovered in 1881 when massive forest fires swept over the Lower Peninsula. Very little is known about the ancient artists who carved the images. Those ancestors are memorialized at the Ziibiwing Center in the Diba Jimooyung: Telling Our Story permanent exhibit.

Today, the soft sandstone where the carvings are etched have been damaged by decades of visitors and erosion. The Ziibiwing Center has teamed with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to present a Community Cultural Teaching & Feast at the Sanilac Petroglyphs this Saturday, June 18 from 11am – 3pm.

At this event we will cleanse and preserve the petroglyphs and hold cultural teachings in our beautiful Anishinabe language. The featured speaker will be Conrad Bobiwash (Mississauga First Nation).

For more information regarding the Community Cultural Teaching & Feast visit:


Ziibiwing Center hosts Fiber Arts Workshop through Friday, teaches basket weaving

17 Feb

A small class of 15 shuffled out a side door to watch as Jeff Church pounded an ash tree with a short tree trunk that had been already been cut down. Thirty minutes later, 14 to 15 long strips were ready to be split for basket weaving on day three of the Fiber Arts Workshop at the Ziibiwing Center, 6650 E. Broadway Road.

via Ziibiwing Center hosts Fiber Arts Workshop through Friday, teaches basket weaving.

Ziibiwing’s Mitigation Effort: The Flint Stone Street Project

14 May


On Monday, January 29, 2008, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan received a call from Sgt. Roderick LeGardye of the Flint Police Department concerning the inadvertent discovery of human remains in Flint, MI. A construction crew, contracted by the Genesee County Land Bank, was digging out a basement in the historic Carriage Town District when they unearthed remains. Two individuals were excavated by the Michigan State Police and the Bridgeport Crime Lab and were sent to Dr. Norman Sauer at Michigan State University following departmental protocol. Dr. Sauer verified that the remains were of American Indian ancestry dating over 150 years old. The following day, on January 30, the remains of two more individuals were unearthed. In all, up to 30 or more individuals may have been unearthed and/or exposed at this historic burial site (site #20GS136).


Since the inadvertent discovery, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan (SCIT) has continued to advise the Genesee County Land Bank and the City of Flint on the steps necessary to mitigate this unfortunate situation.

On June 2, 2009, the SCIT’s Tribal Council passed a motion to direct the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways to coordinate an archaeological ancestral recovery of the Stone Street site beginning on August 13, 2009. The ancestors were sifted from over 76,000 cubic feet of dirt/housing debris/rubbish piles situated across four single-family unit city parcels. Many committed people worked at the site from August 13, 2009 until November when the project was suspended for the winter.

From extensive research, the Ziibiwing Center found that the area now known as the City of Flint was once an established and thriving early Saginaw Chippewa village. To date, the Ziibiwing Center has secured the assistance and support from the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation and Repatriation Alliance (MAGPRA), an organization that is comprised of members from the twelve federally-recognized Tribes of Michigan and two state historic Tribes.

At 12pm, on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways officially re-opened the Stone Street Ancestral Recovery & Reburial Project site. A Pipe Ceremony, Ground Blessing, Feast, and special presentations prepared the area and workers to resume the ancestral recovery process.

The Ziibiwing Center is inviting volunteers to once again work at the site beginning now thru August on Tuesdays-Saturdays from 9am-3pm. Volunteers will work hand and hand with an experienced Tribal Member work crew; under the supervision of Principal Investigator and Consultant, Dr. Beverley Smith (U of M Flint), and Field Supervisors Frank Raslich (Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Member), his wife Nicole Raslich, and Thomasine MeShawboose (Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Member).

When the recovery process is complete, all ancestral human remains will be reinterred at the site. The land will then be restored, seeded with grass, and become classified as protected property that cannot be commercially developed.


Ways You Can Help

 Flyer Image

To make food, water, supplies, or monetary donations for the effort

please contact the Ziibiwing Center at (989) 775-4750.

To Volunteer:

Tuesday-Saturdays, May 11-August, 2010


519 Stone Street

Flint, MI 48503

Dress for the work and the weather. Wear a hat, bring a water bottle, your gardening/work gloves, a lawn chair, and sunscreen. In the event of inclement weather, the project may be suspended for the day(s) – please call the Ziibiwing Center at (989) 775-4750 for up-to-date information.

American Indian Dance

30 Apr

With the Performance Circle Dance Class Graduation around the corner, (May 4 from 6-7pm) it is fitting that we take a look at different forms of American Indian Dance.


Traditional dance is the oldest form of dance for men and women. The men’s traditional dance tells the story of creation, combat, and hunting. The women’s traditional dance honors the connection women share with mother earth. Women traditional dancers are called the “backbone of our nation”.

Men’s Grass Dance

Men’s Grass & Women’s Jingle

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.

Women's Jingle Dance

Men’s Fancy Feather & Women’s Fancy Shawl

Men’s fancy feather dancers are dressed in two multi-colored feather bustles around their neck and waste. Fancy dancers will amaze you with their high jumps, spins, and fancy footwork. Women’s Fancy Shawl, also called the “Butterfly Dance,” began in the mid 20th century. Women are dressed in intricate beadwork and matching shawls that create beauty in motion as these dancers perform dazzling footwork and spins.

Social and Hoop Dancing

 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.

The Performance Circle Graduation will take place on May 4 from 6-7pm. Students who have been participating since January will perform at the Broadway Theatre, 216 E. Broadway, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the performance. If you are interested in signing your child up for the Performance Circle class, please contact Yvette at (989) 775-4738.

Also, American Indian Dance presentations will be offered every Saturday in July at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm in the Ziibiwing Center Lobby. Please contact the Sales & Events Coordinator for more information. (989) 775-4744

Hoop Dance