Native Village 
Youth and Education News
May, 2013

Descendant talks about Chief Pontiac's legacy
Condensed by Native Village
Michigan: Last month marked an important event in American Indian history.  250 years ago, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa called a council of tribes. The Council's purpose: find a way to drive out  English settlers and the army from the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley area.

Hundreds of Native Americans came to Chief Pontiac's council on the banks of the Ecorse River. It was held on April 27th, 1763, in today's Lincoln Park, Michigan.

Ben Hinmon is the Cultural Instructor of the 7th Generation Program of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe. He is also the Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Chief Pontiac.

PlayListen as Ben Hinnon take us back to this council and shares the legacy of Chief Pontiac.

American Indians to gather in Lincoln Park to honor Chief Pontiac
Condensed by Native Village

In his call to stop Europeans from seizing their land, Chief Pontiac's council brought hundreds of American Indians together. The Lincoln Park Historical Society and Museum, the American Indian Movement of Michigan and others held an entire week of events and powwow at the park in commemoration.

It was such an important effort on the part of the natives to maintain their homelands,” said Jeff Day, curator of the Lincoln Park Historical Society and Museum. “(The commemoration) gives us an opportunity to look back and reflect on the past that perhaps was not really thought about over the past couple of centuries.”

Local officials dedicated a new Michigan historical marker for Pontiac’s Council.

As part of the celebrations, Chief Pontiac descendant Rudy Pontiac, 72, talked about his ancestor and the current plight of American Indians.

“He did a great thing, you know, unite the tribes and tell his people that they are taking all the land away from us and we won’t have anyplace to go,” Pontiac said. “It’s a bad thing that happened to my people.”

Chief Pontiac tried to organize American Indians to capture British forts in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions and force them out. The Indian seized nine forts, but eventually were overtaken by Europeans and colonial Americans.

“When you go back past the War of Independence, that history is fuzzy for a lot of people,” Day said. “So it helps us to remember. And we’re doing this to honor Pontiac as well because Pontiac’s cause was a good cause — he wanted to protect his brothers.”

The week of commemoration events included a car show for classic Pontiacs, concert by American Indian singer-songwriter Bill Miller, and screening of “Older Than America,” by American Indian filmmaker, Georgina Lightning.

The free event were partially funded by the Chrysler Group.

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