(Sault Ste. Marie, MI) – Lake Superior State University observed Indigenous Peoples’ Day this week with a campus-wide event. The University was honored to host Austin Lowes, Chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians on Tuesday, October 10th in recognition and celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered to hear Chairman Lowes, an LSSU alum, talk as he discussed the history of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and challenges that disproportionately impact Native American communities. He also described a range of community initiatives and programs lead by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Chairman Lowes explained, “The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians is an Anishinaabe tribe. The Anishinaabe people have been part of this land since time immemorial. Our history predates the history of this country by thousands of years. We were independent before there was a Declaration of Independence, and we were an organized sovereign nation before there was a U. S. Constitution or any other Western recognition of government.” Chairman Lowes acknowledged the ongoing relationship between LSSU and the Sault Tribe and supports strengthening collaborative initiatives such as expanding student internship opportunities.
As Dr. Lynn Gillette, LSSU’s Interim President, introduced Chairman Lowes, he reminded those in attendance that incorporating the history, traditions, languages, and cultures of indigenous peoples is a goal laid out in LSSU’s Strategic Plan. Since the development of that plan, LSSU has increased activities at the Eskoonwid Endaad Native American Center, the Shouldice Library, and the Arts Center that celebrate indigenous cultures, develop relationships grounded in the spirit of collaboration and reconciliation, address contemporary issues, and acknowledge the history and present-day contributions of the tribal nations in our region. LSSU also offers a two-semester sequence in the Ojibwe Language Anishinaabemowin, and will continue to develop and enhance academic programs.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a day to honor the cultures and contributions of all Indigenous People; however, this is not reserved to just one day per year. We, as an institution, are strengthened everyday by the contributions of students, faculty, staff and alumni who are members of our Indigenous communities,” shared Dr. Lynn Gillette, Interim President. “Our growing collaborations with tribal leaders and educators bolster our academic institution and learning communities as a whole. I am honored to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ Day on our campus, and I look forward to new opportunities to learn and share across our communities.”
The University will also welcome Angeline Boulley to campus on October 30, 2023 to discuss her new book, Warrior Girl Unearthed, and will host a series of campus events throughout the month of November in recognition of Native American Heritage month. “We look forward to Ms. Boulley’s visit to campus this month and to each of the events planned throughout the month of November. We are committed to the support of programming at LSSU’s Native American Center as well as the development of new academic programs that promote continued learning and an inclusive and supportive campus environment for all students at LSSU,” Dr. Kimberly Muller, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
For more information about Lake Superior State University, please visit www.lssu.edu.