After some trials and tribulations I now have my project up and running. Nkwejong: Oral Histories and Stories of the Lansing Anishinaabeg community. This is just the beginning of what I hope will be an ongoing project that brings together my dissertation work and other collections of materials to record and preserve the Native history of the Lansing area.
The Lansing area has a long history of use by Native communities in the Great Lakes. While there were only a few permanent habitations in the area, it was well known as a place of intersecting trials and a place to gather resources. Some of these trials that ran through the area would later become two of the major highway systems in the state, Grand River (I-96) and 1-27. It is also the place where the Grand River and the Red Cedar River merge. The Grand River is one of the largest rivers in Lower Michigan. At its head waters in Washtenaw County it connects to the Huron River over a short portage creating an East West water route that allows one to travel from Lake Michigan to Lake Erie. This area was a shared space used by Three Fires Anishinaabeg peoples that was eventually ceded to the United States in two separate treaties in 1807 and 1821. Anishinaabeg continued to use the area even after the Indian Removal Act of the 1830’s.