Day 77: Nokomis

[box size=”large” border=”full”]Why its awesome: This Native American Learning Center, in Okemos, is dedicated to the preservation of the Anishinaabe people through educational programs and special events that anyone and everyone can attend.[/box]Nokomis is one of two Native American cultural centers in Michigan; the other being the Ziibiwing Center in Mt. Pleasant. Michigan has a rich history of local Native American tribes and these cultural centers help preserve it. The Anishinaabe people include the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi nations, all of which are from Michigan and the Midwest. Nokomis mission is to preserve these people’s cultures, arts and histories. There are several programs that are offered for groups between fifteen and 120 people. They also offer many events ranging from language classes to drum night socials.  Every Tuesday night between 6 – 9 pm is craft night, and everyone is welcome to come and is encouraged to bring a snack to share. Then every Thursday night between 7-9 pm is the Anishinaabemowin language class where a native speaker teaches the language. For this class writing materials are required and snacks are again encouraged. Along with the programs and events at Nokomis, there are several permanent and travelling exhibitions. For the other events, exhibits, and programs that are coming check the website or the calender.

The Nokomis Learning Center was founded in 1988 to preserve and present the “peoples of the Three Fires” – the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe. The building itself contains an art gallery, an exhibit classroom and a gift shop. Nokomis has had over 20,000 visitors since opening and each year gives tours to more then 200 groups. Since Nokomis is a non-profit organization, they rely on the donations of visitors. They also have an annual membership which can be purchased in the gift shop.

We all know that Michigan is an awesome state that has an awesome history! So if you’re interested in learning more make your way over to Okemos to check out Nokomis! The public visiting hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 6- 9 pm and Thursday 1- 6 pm. You can find them on Facebook too! ~Leighanna Whiting, Regional Director

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