While we were in St. Ignace, we spent some time at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. The Museum is on the north side of downtown so it is spread out on some land. The statue of Pere Marquette in the front drew us in, but the Museum was an interesting stop.
Outside, in the front of the Museum of Ojibwa Culture, is the statue of Pere Marquette, a lovely fountain, and a wayside that describes the life of Pere Marquette and his influence on the Native Americans and theirs on him. He was beloved by the Native Americans because he loved them and treated them fairly. The St. Ignace Mission was a place of peace and safety for all people. Even though Pere Marquette died far away from St. Ignace, the Ojibwa brought his bones back to St. Ignace for burial.
The Museum of Ojibwa Culture is small, but they pack a lot of information in the small space. It is housed in the former mission church. Their gift shop is very nice and sells locally made native crafts as well as books about the Jesuits in North America and Ojibwa culture. The displays include Native American artifacts and clothing. There is a short video about the damage done to the culture by boarding schools and government policy toward the Native Americans in the 1800’s and 1900’s.
The Museum continues outside with a replica Huron longhouse. Ojibwa speakers present programs in the longhouse during the summer. There is also a statue garden with artworks by a local Native American artist. We saw a lot of Anishinaabe words on the interpretive signs that reminded us of our time at Grand Portage National Monument.
We really appreciated visiting the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. It does a beautiful job of interpreting the culture and preserving the pride the Anishinaabe people have in their heritage. The Museum is open from 10 until 5 seven days a week and asks for a donation instead of a set admission price.