Controversy Surrounds Christopher Columbus Ship Replicas Sailing into Grand Traverse Bay

What some consider Great American history sailing into Traverse City, has also brought some controversy.

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships, the Niña and Pinta, have just arrived in West Grand Traverse Bay. 

They were escorted by the Leelanau and Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department and the Coast Guard.

The ships were invited by the Maritime Heritage Alliance to give tours through next Tuesday.

But the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians say these ships show a painful time and have even referred to them as the black ships of death.

The Maritime Heritage Alliance says this is a good time for the tribe to share their story and says this is an important reminder to everyone that there are two sides to every story.

So the tribe will be here all weekend passing out information and peacefully protesting.