Michigan SHPO

Lansing, Michigan

Collaborative Documentation, Protection and Interpretation of ezhibiigaadek asin (the Sanilac Petroglyphs)

The Michigan SHPO’s Phase 2 grant, in partnership with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, funded protection and interpretation of ezhibiigaadek asin, or Sanilac Petroglyphs. “Sanilac Petroglyphs State Park is one of the most unique places in the entire region,” said Stacy Tchorzynski, an archaeologist with the state Historic Preservation Office and the Michigan Historical Center. The 240-acre park was created in 1970 to preserve the carvings, which are Michigan’s largest known concentration of petroglyphs.

Petroglyphs are one of many ways previous generations of Anishinaabe people left information for the future. They placed important knowledge on the landscape in a permanent way, for future generations. Various tribes would gather in this area during the summers. “They would live and reside and gather from all points to share in harvesting,” said Shannon Martin, director of the Saginaw Chippewa Ziibiwing Center. “The place was just teeming with ducks, pigeons, cranberries and wild rice. And the sacred stone was there.”

Photos courtesy of Dave Wasinger / Lansing State Journal

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