Look for a major new museum in Northern Michigan this summer when the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians opens the Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center in Leelanau County.
The creation of a Museum & Cultural Center has been a long-time vision of the Grand Traverse Band, said Pat Putney, GTB Elders and cultural department manager.
The emphasis of the new museum will be on education and increasing the understanding and respect for the Grand Traverse Bands vibrant culture, art, and history. Although the specific date when Eyaawing will be open to the public has not been set, construction is slated to be completed at the end of May.
The name Eyaawing was selected by tribal members. It translates as Who we are in Anishinaabemowin, the native language of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigans Anishinaabek.
In addition to telling the story of the Grand Traverse Band through various exhibits, the Eyaawing Museum will be a place where the traditions and language of the tribe will be kept, taught, and celebrated. Eyaawings programming will be twofold, with some programs designed specifically for tribal members and others designed to share the culture, language and spirit of the Grand Traverse Band with the public.
Eyaawing will focus on both the traditional and contemporary culture and history of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigans Anishinaabek. Critical to that saga is the long path that leads to the Grand Traverse Bands recognition as a Native Sovereign Nation on May 27, 1980.