Eyaawing, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ new Museum and Cultural Center in Peshawbestown will celebrate its opening to the public on May 30, 2009.

The public is invited to an opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. followed by an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. The celebration, which will begin around the Sacred Fire on Eyaawing’s grounds, will include songs by the Medicine Lodge Singers and the presentation of colors by the American Legion Eagletown Post #120. A short program recognizing tribal members and agencies that have been partners in the creation of Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center will follow. The open house will begin with the official ribbon cutting ceremony by tribal members.

Beginning June 3, 2009, Eyaawing and Odaawe Gamik (the museum store) will be open to the public on a regular schedule to be announced at a later date. Admission to the museum is by donation. For further information, call 231-534-7764 or 231-534-7768.

“The creation of a Museum & Cultural Center has been a long-time vision of the Grand Traverse Band,” said Pat Putney, Grand Traverse Band Elders and Cultural Department Manager.

Eyaawing will be a place of learning and safekeeping. The emphasis will be on education and increasing the understanding and respect for the Grand Traverse Band’s vibrant culture, art, and history.

The name Eyaawing was selected by tribal members. It translates as “Who we are” in Anishinaabemowin, the native language of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigan’s Anishinaabek.

Eyaawing’s mission is to gather, interpret, and maintain a record of the history of the Grand Traverse Band. Their story will be told within the context of the Anishinaabek’s respect for the circle of life, honor for their families, and the telling of their true heritage.

Eyaawing will serve both Grand Traverse Band members and the larger community. It will be a place where the traditions and language of the tribe will be kept, taught, and celebrated. It will also provide a portal to the tribe for the community—a place where the public is welcome to learn about the culture and history of the Grand Traverse Band.

Eyaawing’s programming will be twofold, with some programs designed specifically for tribal members and other programs designed to share the culture, language and spirit of the Grand Traverse Band with the public.

Eyaawing’s exhibits and programming will focus on the traditional and contemporary culture and history of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigan’s Anishinaabek. It will illustrate the story that shaped tribal members and their community today.