KALAMAZOO, Mich. — An educational app has been launched as part of a campaign to accurately portray the history of indigenous Native Americans in southwestern Michigan.

The project is part of a $2.8 million campaign to make landscaping and infrastructure improvements to Bronson Park in Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Gazette (http://bit.ly/2vFRvOS) reported.

Digital markers stand at the four corners of the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi’s historic reservation, allowing videos and other content to be viewed through the “Next Exit History” app.

The project is funded by a Michigan Humanities Council grant and features members of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Native Americans. The community tells their story of Euro-American betrayal, resistance to removal, cultural re-engagement and community stewardship by using their own words and images.

WiFi-enabled kiosks will provide additional information in proximity to Bronson Park’s Fountain of the Pioneers, a 76-year-old monument that was listed in June on the National Register of Historic Places. The monument has created public outcry because of its perceived celebration of racism against indigenous communities.

The app is meant to contextualize the historical period during which the fountain was designed.

A public education committee has been working since 2014 to develop a way to present an accurate, unbiased history of the Kalamazoo region.


Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo

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