Translated from Anishinaabemowin, the original language of this area, gi-gikinomaage-min means "We are all teachers." This is the name our project team choose to convey to the Native American community that through our stories and experiences, we are all teachers to someone. As we share those stories, we are allowing for our next generations to experience the past.
Grand Rapids’ Native American community grew dramatically in the last half of the 20th century as a result of a little-known federal program that still impacts American Indian lives today. Called the Urban Relocation Program, it created one of the largest mass movements of Indians in American history. The full scope of this massive social experiment and its impact on multiple generations of Native Americans remains largely undocumented and unexplored.
We hope you will consider sharing your memories, knowledge, or volunteering to assist with this effort. To learn more, please contact the GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History.
This project was born through conversations between the Native American Advisory Board of Grand Valley State University and the Kutsche Office of Local History. In particular, this effort aims to give Grand Rapids' urban Native American population the opportunity to tell their stories. Everyone has a story.
March 24, 2017
Project Coordinator, Lin Bardwell, was interviewed by Steve Chappell on WGVU.
December 19, 2016
Mariano Avila of WGVU works alongside Belinda Bardwell and Seth Sutton as they travel to Standing Rock for the greatest gathering of Native Americans since Wounded Knee.
December 07, 2016
Lin Bardwell and Monique Jonaitis were interviewed by Jennifer Moss for WGVU's show, West Michigan Week on the topic of Standing Rock.
July 29, 2016
GVSU alum and former project team member, Shane McSauby receives Sundance Grant
May 23, 2016
WGVU's Mariano Avila covers the opening of the Gi-gikinomaage-min's Walking Beyond Our Ancestors' Footsteps Exhibit