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Exhibit Opening: "Walking Beyond Our Ancestors' Footsteps: An Urban Native American Experience"

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.

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