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- Marilyn Crandell Schleg Memorial Lecture
Marilyn Crandell Schleg Memorial Lecture
20th Annual Marilyn Crandell Schleg Memorial Lecture
For the Next Seven Generations: The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways and Cultural Resource Management
Presented by William Johnson, Curator of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways
William Johnson is the curator of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways. Through Johnson’s efforts, the Ziibiwing Center’s excellence in exhibits and events has earned numerous awards including the 2008 Harvard University’s Honoring Nations Award, 2006 Michigan Cultural Alliance’s Museum Award and the 2004 American Association of Museums’ Media and Technology Committee’s Gold Muse Award.
Mr. Johnson has 20 years of experience dealing with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) issues including the coordination of ancestral reburials for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan (SCIT) as a NAGPRA designee.
William is also the chairman for the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation & Repatriation Alliance (MACPRA) and helps coordinate NAGPRA efforts for all the Federally-recognized Indian Tribes and State Historic Indian Tribes of Michigan. Approximately 1,424 ancestors and 5,114 associated funerary objects have been repatriated from various Federal Agencies and University Museums including the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
He was appointed to the University of Michigan’s Advisory Committee on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains under NAGPRA in 2011. Approximately 801 ancestors and 2,382 associated funerary objects have been repatriated and reburied by the Tribes aboriginal to the State of Michigan from the University of Michigan to date.
William serves as the Interim Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the SCIT Tribal Historic Preservation Office (SCIT THPO). The National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior notified the SCIT THPO that it listed the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School to the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 2018. The nominated property encompassed extant former school buildings, the grounds associated with them, and the Mission Creek Cemetery including agricultural and woodland areas that historically formed parts of the school campus.
The SCIT THPO was awarded the 2016 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for documenting the history of the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School through an on-going program of archaeological research and outreach initiatives to promote healing and understanding of the lives of boarding school students.
In 2015, the SCIT THPO was awarded the 2015 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for the US-31/M-231 Holland to Grand Haven Archaeological Data Recoveries. The archaeological investigations uncovered important information about the Native Americans who lived 500 to 1000 years ago and the collaboration and outreach resulted in positive relationships that will continue in the future. An educational curriculum entitled Ancestors, Archaeology and the Anishinabek: Bridging the Past into the Feature with curriculum units and lesson plans that meet current social studies and literacy standards was developed for third and fifth grades and are now available for use by teachers in public, tribal, private, parochial and home school settings.
Mr. Johnson is the recipient of the 2017 Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society’s John Cumming Isabella County Historical Preservation Award and the 2012 Michigan Historical Society’s Distinguished Professional Service Award.