Nokomis Learning Center: preserving culture without any help

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Reporter

The Nokomis Learning Center, located at 5153 Marsh Road in Okemos, is a non-profit Native American learning center whose mission is to preserve the history, arts and culture of the “people of the Three Fires”– the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe and present it to the community. The building contains an art gallery, exhibit classroom and gift shop. Founded in 1988, the Nokomis Learning Center is doing the best it can to preserve the culture from generation to generation. “Nokomis means ‘grandmother’ and grandmother was the primary teacher in the clans and the villages,” Victoria Voges, the Educational Director at Nokomis Learning Center,  said. “One of our goals is to teach the culture and the history and hold it up so that’s why they named it Nokomis.”

The center provides tours to over 200 groups per year, and most of them come from local middle schools.

Some Native American tribes in Michigan battle fish farming proposal

By JOSHUA BENDER
Capital News Service
LANSING — A proposal to farm fish in Michigan’s Great Lakes may violate the rights of some Native American tribes in the state, according to representatives from several of Michigan’s five Native American tribes. This new method, called net pen aquaculture, raises fish in enclosed areas within the Great Lakes. Separate bills promoting and banning commercial net pen aquaculture were recently debated in the House committees on natural resources and agriculture,
Opponents of commercial net pen aquaculture in the Great Lakes say the method threatens the lakes’ water quality and fish by creating new opportunities for the spread of disease and invasive species. “There is no question that net pen aquaculture will cause water quality degradation that could result in an adverse impact on the citizens relying on the fish that live in the water for jobs and food,” said Kathryn Tierney, tribal attorney for the Bay Mills Indian Community. Proponents say they believe the fish farming method will create jobs while posing minimal threat to the lakes’ water quality and fish.