On Monday, December 2, 2019, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Chief Ronald F. Ekdahl was joined by Department of Natural Resources representative Sandra Clark to sign a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU will establish the beginning of the tribe's co-management of the Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park, or ezhibiigadek asin (written on stone), with the State of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
This ceremonial signing took place at 10:00 a.m. in the SCIT Black Elk Government Complex located at 7500 Soaring Eagle Blvd. Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858. This will mark the first state/tribal co-management of a state park in Michigan.
"This partnership is a major step forward in strengthening the authentic interpretation of the Sanilac Petroglyphs site, which speaks to the connections of humankind to nature and the earth," said DNR Director Daniel Eichinger, cosigner of the MOU. ''We hope this collaboration will serve as a model, both within and beyond Michigan, of respectful, inclusive, equitable management practices that protect important historic resources while helping people understand their relationship to them."
Donated to the State of Michigan by the Michigan Archaeological Society and managed by the DNR since 1971, the petroglyphs are the largest known group of ancient rock carvings in the state. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the park covers 240 acres along the Cass River near Cass City in Michigan's Thumb region. Stone tools and pottery found on the petroglyphs site on the Cass River floodplain show tribal groups have occupied the area periodically throughout the last 8,000 years. The petroglyphs were likely carved within the last 1,400 years, with some possibly created in more recent centuries.
The tribe and state began discussions about the preservation and stewardship of ezhibiigadek asin (Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park) in 2003. These early conversations about the site involving the tribe, the Michigan Archaeological Society and the state broke down. As the tribe considered how to move forward, in 2005-2010 it joined the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) Project, an international study of issues related to cultural and intellectual knowledge, how that knowledge is used, who has access, and who benefits. The IPinCH Report affirmed the tribe's commitment to protect and preserve ezhibiigadek asin and concluded that it should continue working with the state toward co-management.
“This site is special and sacred to the Anishinabe. It is a clear indication of the unique origins and history of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. We know our Ancestors were thinking of us when they left the lessons in stone,” explained tribal elder and former Director of Ziibiwing Bonnie Ekdahl. “The MOU creates a relationship that ties us to this beautiful site and marks an important step of acknowledgement and inclusion of the tribe. I am very thankful and proud of the team at the Ziibiwing Center who preserved and carried the vision for over 15 years, and it is especially incredible to know my son is involved with the final step, miigwetch.”
The IPinCH Report also prompted the tribe to engage in conversations about using advanced technology to record the carvings. The petroglyphs are carved in relatively soft Marshall Sandstone. After centuries of natural weathering and decades of recent human activity, some carvings have faded, disappeared or been vandalized.
In April 2018, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) specialists used terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) along with detailed close-up photographs to build digital models that will document the site and can be used to track changes in the petroglyphs over time. MDOT's partners in the project included the State Historic Preservation Office (Michigan State Housing Development Authority), the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan), the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Historic Preservation Office, and the DNR's Michigan History Center and Parks and Recreation Division.
Images and information from the petroglyphs preservation project were featured on the 2018 Michigan Archaeology poster. The free poster is available upon request from the State Historic Preservation Office or at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways.
Tribal Chief Ron Ekdahl stated, “This culturally significant site will be enhanced through a partnership that this MOU creates. We are excited to be working alongside the State of Michigan in preserving this unique piece of Native American history. It will also allow for future opportunities for preservation and historical education. This is just another example of the collaboration between our tribal government and the state and we will continue to work together on important issues like these.”
Guided tours of ezhibiigadek asin (Sanilac petroglyphs) are available in the summer months. Learn more about Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park on the DNR website. To see the 2018 Michigan Archaeology poster featuring the petroglyphs and the LiDAR survey, visit Michigan.gov/Archaeology.
Michigan has plenty of hunting opportunities through the remainder of the year, whether you are an avid small game hunter or plan to head out for the late archery or firearm deer season.
Regardless of what type of wild game you enjoy pursuing, get outdoors and enjoy the time with your family and friends this winter!
Make sure you are up to date with the 2019 regulations. The 2019 Hunting Digest has all deer hunting regulations, season dates and bag limits.
Visit Michigan.gov/Deer for more deer hunting details.
Take advantage of your base license and get out for some small game hunting this winter. Visit Michigan.gov/Hunting to plan your trip.
*December's pheasant hunting is open only in selection portions of Zone 3 (see map on page 54 of the 2019 Hunting Digest). Please be aware that Cornish, Crane Pond and Pinconning State Game Areas and the Fenville Farm Unit within Allegan State Game Area are not within the December Pheasant Management Unit and are not open to pheasant hunting in December. Pheasant releases through the Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative will not take place on these four game areas during the December season
Don't miss out on winter waterfowl hunting opportunities.
Waterfowl hunting dates, bag limits and regulations are available at Michigan.gov/Waterfowl.
Coyote, raccoon and fox (gray and red) hunting opportunities are available statewide.
Opportunities for trapping badger, beaver, coyote, fox, muskrats, mink, otter and raccoon are available through the winter. See the 2019 Fur Harvester Digestfor season dates, unit boundaries, bag limits and other regulations. Get licenses and kill tags online at MDNR-eLicense.com or anywhere licenses are sold.
FOWLERVILLE, MI –– U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), a former senior Pentagon official who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to Navy Secretary Spencer’s termination following President Trump’s intervention in the case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL convicted of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“I believe that the United States must be a nation of rules –– and that no one is above the law,” Slotkin said. “As an Army wife and Army step mom, and as a former Pentagon official, I feel strongly that it is essential that the Uniformed Code of Military Justice is upheld by our military and our senior leaders. Maintaining good order and discipline throughout the ranks is critical, as is the professional execution of our missions. That’s why we must take it seriously when members of the military fail to follow those rules and standards.”
“The circumstances of the Secretary of the Navy’s departure points to a serious issue: in his departure letter, Secretary Spencer stated that he no longer had faith that the Commander in Chief was committed to good order and discipline,” Slotkin continued. “That is a startling statement — and frankly, the President’s personal interventions in the case of Chief Petty Officer Gallagher have been unprecedented — and raise many questions, given Gallagher’s conduct on the battlefield. This is a complex set of events between the President and his top defense officials –– but what remains clear is that when the President intervenes in the military justice system, it creates major problems as we are seeing today.”
LANSING, Mich. –Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today wraps up a two-day investment mission to Silicon Valley, where she met with tech and mobility companies to build relationships, promote business investment and grow talent opportunities in Michigan.
As part of the trip, Governor Whitmer met with global IT leader Cisco, and today announced plans for the expansion of the Cisco CyberVets Scholarship program into Michigan. The pilot will dedicate up to 20 scholarships to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard, Reservists and military spouses in Michigan as part of the March 2020 cohort. Michigan is the first Midwestern state to participate in the program.
“The state of Michigan is committed to providing training and employment opportunities for a diverse workforce to ensure all Michiganders have clear pathways to economic success,” Whitmer said. “The CyberVets Scholarship program will help give Michigan veterans opportunities to receive the skills and training they need to join the high-demand field of cybersecurity. We look forward to partnering with Cisco on this program that will provide meaningful career training to Michigan vets, servicemembers and their spouses.”
The Cisco Veterans Cyber Scholarship Program, part of the Cisco-led, skills-to-job consortium CyberVetsUSA, provides free online cybersecurity training and certification to veterans, transitioning service members, National Guard members, Reservists, and military spouses.
The program offers free online access to highly sought-after courses in secure infrastructure and cybersecurity operations. To be accepted into the program, qualified candidates take a brief skills assessment and are enrolled in the CCNA CyberOps course. The self-paced training typically takes between 12-14 weeks to complete.
“Cisco is committed to ensuring our military community has access to industry-relevant training and certification to take part in the rapidly expanding field of cybersecurity,” said Gena Pirtle, Military & Workforce Programs Manager for Cisco. “Michigan ranks high in tech job growth, so employers will be able to benefit from access to skilled talent through the expansion of the CyberVetsUSA program to the region.”
While in Silicon Valley, Whitmer also announced the formation of MI Next, a new collaborative effort between the state and California-based technology leaders with significant ties back to Michigan. This effort will drive actionable dialogue and connectivity between Michigan and Silicon Valley, and be a frontline resource as Michigan develops new mobility and advanced manufacturing initiatives in the coming years. The collaboration capitalizes on the unique strengths of both Silicon Valley and Michigan to partner on projects and programs, particularly in the mobility and tech space.
“MI Next will help to identify new and innovative ways that Michigan and Silicon Valley can collaborate and leverage our respective unique strengths to partner on technology and mobility focused projects and programs,” Whitmer said. “MI Next will serve as a valuable resource to drive dialogue and help identify Silicon Valley-based companies that have the best opportunity for growth and investment here in Michigan.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and PlanetM, the state’s mobility initiative, will convene future meetings of MI Next, which will meet quarterly in San Francisco and includes representatives from companies including Lyft, Intel, Plenty, Box, Airbnb, Salesforce Ventures, IDEO.org, Eclipse Ventures, Sight Machine, and others, as well as key leaders from Michigan’s mobility and startup ecosystem.
Other meetings in Silicon Valley and San Francisco included KLA, Uber, Zipline, Airbus Ventures, and an industry roundtable conversation led by the World Economic Forum. Governor Whitmer was joined by Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Jeff Donofrio, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity on the trip.
The Silicon Valley trip follows Governor Whitmer’s recent mission to Israel to meet with government, business, and nonprofit leaders to strengthen relationships and build business ties with startups and mobility companies to help Michigan compete for good-paying, high tech jobs.