Hometown Tourist: The Museum of Ojibwa Culture

A historic site with a rich archeological past.

In this week’s Hometown Tourist David and Erin take you to The Museum of Ojibwa Culture in St. Ignace: A place to learn about the life of those who lived in the Straits more than 300 years ago.

“Not only our local people learn about their ancestors, over half of our children in the public school here are descendants of those Native Americans, but people that are interested in learning about the history of the Straits should stop here at the museum,” said Becky Simmons, an interpreter Museum of Ojibwa Culture

In what used to be an old Catholic Church, this building now serves as a historic spot to immerse yourself in the lifestyles of the Ojibwa, Huron and French.

“At one time we had a mission on our grounds. We had a Huron village on our grounds, we had the French Fort de Baude here and when we had archeologists come to dig to see what they could find to prove that Fr. Marquette was buried here,” said Becky. 

Becky will guide you through in traditional regalia and you’ll find some artifacts found right here on the grounds and other examples of culture in the straits.     

  “You’ll be able to see the importance of how we used everything in our environment to survive. We have examples of quill work, examples of old baskets, old clothing, weapons, hunting tools, grinding stones, moccasins and canoes,” noted Becky.

 Explore the travels of the Native American tribes and French fur traders, watch a movie in a replica long home or experience a life size long home outside.

“Our clan exhibit is new. It’s an exhibit about our clan animals that are very important in our culture. Each child belongs to her father’s clan. Your responsibilities to your village and to your family are based on which clan you belong to,” explained Becky.

The history is rich here and Becky says it not only helps to teach about the past but preserve it for the future.

“Especially for the next generation, I’m very flattered when someone takes the time to listen to me and take an interest and ask questions about how my ancestors survived 400 years ago or what’s going on in the present day tribal government, what’s going on with the Native American people now also, not just the past,” raved Becky.

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