Heart of the Great Turtle Island – Gchi Mshiikenh Deh Minising

The Heart of the Great Turtle Island – Gchi Mshiikenh Deh Minising will transform the Father Marquette National Memorial site into a place that welcomes, engages and excites visitors with indoor and outdoor experiences that encourage deeper understandings of the St. Ignace region.

We envision a site that includes:

  • The Powwow Circle: Outdoor space for powwows and other experiences that help visitors understand Anishinaabe culture, both past and present;
  • Expanded information on early French life at the Straits at the Father Marquette National Memorial;
  • Anishinaabe perspectives on their first encounters with the French;
  • The Learning Commons: A gathering place for interpretation, workshops and classes, and conversation;
  • Indoor and outdoor interpretative and recreational experiences that complement local museums and other cultural opportunities;
  • Hiking and biking trails connected to the Iron Belle and North Country Scenic Trails and to the St. Ignace and US-2 business districts.

Conceptual Master Plan

The collaborative held an open house to share the master plan on June 18, 2019. The documents shared during the open house included a vision statement and site analysis, in addition to the site plan. One aerial photograph of the site and four sketches of the proposed site improvements were also included. The documents are available for download in PDF format:

Detailed planning on phase one projects includes designs for the Powwow Circle and the Learning Commons. Interpretive planning for the site is beginning this summer.

  • Powwow Grounds Design
  • Learning Commons Floor Plan
  • Learning Commons Exterior Design

See the public notice regarding the project’s National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 review.

The collaborative is also looking for additional for-purpose and for-profit organizations and business to join the effort as partners.

For more information on the project and fundraising efforts, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.