2017-07-13 / Front Page

Festival Celebrates St. Ignace Heritage

Experience a Glimpse of 1700s Cultures
By Kevin R. Hess

Established in 1671 by Jesuit missionary Father Jacques Marquette, St. Ignace is 346 years old. It is one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in the United States. The location of the Museum of Ojibwa Culture is recognized as one of the oldest historical sites in Michigan and the U.S. Midwest. This week, from Friday, July 14, through Sunday, July 16, St. Ignace will be celebrating its long and treasured history during St. Ignace Heritage Days. Workshops, authors, music, dancers, demonstrations, teaching, and traditional foods will highlight the different cultural influences here, including Ojibwa, Huron, and Odawa Native American tribes, French explorers and traders, English settlers, and American entrepreneurs.

Activities will begin Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m. with Historical Native American re-enactors at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. Fort de Buade Museum will feature Dr. Larry Martin, who will lead a flint knapping workshop at 1 p.m. and a Native Edible Plant Walk from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Flint knapping is the art of making arrowheads and other edged stone tools. The Grandmother Moon Drum Circle drummers and singers will be featured at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by story telling and songs at St. Ignace Public Library with storyteller Genot Picor.

Saturday, July 15, will feature guided tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at both Fort de Buade Museum and the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. A Black Powder Turkey Shoot will be held at the gun range on Castle Rock Road near M-123 near Moran, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Instructors Nick Barber and Rudy Hennekes, will lead the shoot. There is a $10 entry fee.

Several workshops will be offered from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. Marge Bekins will teach a Native American black ash basket workshop. Sally Paquin and Lisa Walker will lead a clan mask coloring workshop, and Sue St. Onge and Helena Kissinger-St. Onge will lead a dreamcatcher workshop.

The Grandmother Moon Drum Circle will perform from noon to 1 p.m., and then at various times throughout the day on Saturday at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. Native American dancing and drumming will be featured from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., led by Hessel drum Mukkwa Giizhik and Native American dancers. French Canadian music and dancing will be featured from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Fort de Buade will host an Oddities and Rarities book presentation with author Ron Rademacher from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and a presentation and singing with author

Michael Carrier from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Both presentations will be held in the Sweetgrass Gallery of the museum.

Activities will continue Sunday, July 16, with an old-fashioned ice cream social and French Canadian storytelling for all ages at American Legion Park, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., led by members of the Michilimackinac Historical Society and educator Genot Picor. Tours will be offered of Fort de Buade Museum and the Historic Mulcrone House at 198 McCann Street from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Museum of Ojibwa Culture is at 500 North State Street, and Fort de Buade is at 334 North State Street in downtown St. Ignace. The Michilimackinac Historical Society, the Museum of Ojibwa Culture, the St. Ignace Public Library, the St. Ignace Events Committee, the St. Ignace Area Community Foundation, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians sponsor St. Ignace Heritage Days.

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