Exhibit Opening: "Walking Beyond Our Ancestors' Footsteps: An Urban Native American Experience" (98 Photos)
The "Walking Beyond Our Ancestors' Footsteps: An Urban Native American Experience" exhibit opened for the first time on GVSU's Allendale Campus, Tuesday, November 3, 2015. This exhibition invites visitors to step into the gaze of a few of the Native Americans who have lived, worked, and studied in the greater Grand Rapids area over the mid-20th and 21st centuries and features contemporary artwork by local Native American artists.
These photos were taken at the opening reception that was held that evening in the Mary Idema Pew Library's Multipurpose Room. The event featured a blessing by George Martin, Ojibwe elder, and talk by featured speaker, Shannon Martin, Director of the Ziibiwing Center for Anishinaabe Culture & Lifeways. The exhibition will remain on display in the Mary Idema Pew Library's Exhibition Hall through November 21. After that time, it will travel to the Grand Rapids Public Library (January 4-22, 2016) and the Grand Rapids Public Museum (dates TBD).
“Walking Beyond Our Ancestors’ Footsteps” grows out of the planning stage of the Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are all teachers): Defend Our History, Unlock Your Spirit project, which was launched in August 2014, as a collaboration among GVSU's Kutsche Office of Local History in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Native American Advisory Board, Office of Multicultural Affairs, GVSU Libraries' Special Collections & University Archives, the Grand Rapids Public Library, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The ultimate goal of this multi-year effort is to interview American Indian elders to collect their experiences about living in Grand Rapids during the federal relocation period. This effort was supported in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
"Nuestra Comunidad Hispana" is a bilingual project celebrating Holland, Michigan's Hispanic communities by collecting stories from individuals and families. Launched in August 2015 at a collection event held Sunday, August 23, the project team collected oral histories and portraits through October. Sample boards from the exhibition were shared with attendees at LAUP's annual dinner, November 6, 2015. The full exhibition will be displayed at a reception to honor participants on December 7, 2015 at Herrick District Library. All materials collected as part of this effort can be accessed in the Genealogy Department at Herrick District Library, where they will be permanently archived for use by community members, researchers, and educators.
This project is a collaboration among the City of Holland, Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP), Herrick District Library, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, GVSU's Meijer Campus in Holland, and GVSU's Kutsche Office of Local History in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Each year, the Local History Roundtable provides an opportunity for members of the community, faculty, students, curators, librarians, archivist, and others to come together to share a common passion for local history. The 2015 meeting was held on March 26 in the Ryerson Auditorium of the Grand Rapids Public Library.
On Saturday, March 21, members of the Youth Leadership Initiative conducted a workshop at the 4th annual "Ecojustice and Social Activism" Conference at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This year, teen artists at the Cook Arts Center are drawing from the archive created by the Cook Library Scholars in 2013-2014 to paint a mural at UICA. The project is co-directed by Melanie Shell-Weiss (Director, Kutsche Office), Steffanie Rosalez (Program Director, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities), Jakia Fuller (Special Projects Graduate Assistant, Kutsche Office), and Ricardo Gonzalez (MFA Fellow, Kendall College of Art & Design).
The first Campus Dialogue to introduce the "Gi-gikinomaage-min: Defend Our History, Unlock Your Spirit" project was held on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Mary Idema Pew Library on GVSU's Allendale Campus. Organized by the GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Native American Advisory Board, GVSU Special Collections and Archives, and the Native American Student Association, this event was part of the university's Native American Heritage Month Celebration. Roughly 50 students, faculty, and staff attended the session, sharing their own experiences, asking questions, and making suggestions about the future direction of the project. The project is supported in part by funding from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
American Indian Community Forum (75 Photos)
Held at the Nottawaseppi Northern Health Center, 311 State Street SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday, November 13, 2014, the "American Indian Community Forum" was the first public event held as part of the planning stage of the "Gi-gikinomaage-min: Defend Our History, Unlock Your Spirit" project. That project is a collaboration among several units at GVSU including the Kutsche Office of Local History, Native American Advisory Board, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and GVSU Special Collections and Archives. The program is funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The goal of this project is to document the experience of American Indian elders who lived in Grand Rapids during the relocation period.
Community As Classroom Symposium (2 Photos)
Organized by the GVSU Office for Community Engagement, Melanie Shell-Weiss, Director of the Kutsche Office, Melissa Baker-Boosamra, Director of the GVSU Community Service Learning Center, and Monica Zavala, Family Outreach Coordinator for Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, lead a workshop on October 17, 2014 focusing on how to build and maintain mutually beneficial university-community partnerships. The workshop was held in the University Club, GVSU Pew Campus, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Portrait of My Community (48 Photos)
On September 18, 2014, the Kutsche Office of Local History and the Cook Library Center celebrated the first anniversary of the Cook Library Scholars Program. The event showcased their year-long effort to document the history of leadership and community on Grandville Avenue.