Native American Trails Marker Dedication
On July 12th WCPARC and the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission were pleased to dedicate the first of several historical markers honoring Native American trails and sites in the County. Parker Mill County Park located in Ann Arbor Township along Fleming Creek and the Huron River was the site of the first installed sign.
The event coincided with the Huron River Day celebration as a way to acknowledge the river's importance to Native Americans in the region.
Preservation Planner Melissa Milton-Pung welcomed those in attendance and recognized various commissioners and staff who assisted with the project. Historic District Commissioner Jasper Pennington led the dedication with remarks acknowledging the impact of the County's first inhabitants, particularly on the road system. Parks Deputy Director Tom Freeman also expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate on such a special project. Also in attendance were a few members of the North American Indian community. Deisha Myles and Karen Schaumann-Beltran graciously thanked the County for recognizing their ancestors' contributions with the markers. After the ceremony the two ladies laid an offering of sacred tobacco ties (bundles of tobacco) at the base of the marker as a sign of respect and appreciation.
Three additional signs are expected to be installed in 2009 at the Leonard Preserve, Independence Lake County Park and Burns-Stokes Preserve. Please join us at 7:00pm, Sept. 12, at Independence Lake County Park for a Native American water song and cedar ceremony - see our calendar for details.