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Update: Native American Sculpture

<August 8, 2018, City of Muskegon> – The installation of the sculpture long-planned for the Old Indian Cemetery, located on Morris Street in downtown Muskegon has been canceled, and the sculpture, by Anishinaabe artist and Michigan native Jason Quigno, will be placed in another downtown Muskegon location to be announced soon.

Based on the conversations and recent objections and at the request of Joe Genia, a long-standing elder of the Muskegon Native American community and member of the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, and Ron Yob, the Tribal Chief of the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians headquartered in Grand Rapids, all parties have agreed that the sculpture, Niikonii Kiinaa, or All My Relations, should be installed in a different location.

The sculpture was planned for installation in the Old Indian Cemetery as a tribute to the unique history of the Morris Street historic site that dates as far back as the eighteenth century, and includes the history of the indigenous people of this community as well as that of the fur traders and the lumbering era of the nineteenth century.  Immediately upon hearing objections from Mr. Genia and Mr. Yob, the placement of the sculpture was delayed and discussions about a path forward for the artwork and the cemetery ensued.  All parties agreed that the purpose behind the sculpture was valid and welcomed, but that the cemetery should have been left undisturbed.

A new installation date and location for All My Relations will be announced soon.  The footings for the sculpture, the four carved natural stone benches, and the handicapped-accessible entrance recently installed will be removed.  The soil originally excavated from the site was secured in an offsite location, and will be utilized to return the cemetery site to its natural state.

All My Relations is a contemporary sculpture of hand-carved black granite which stands 16 1/2 feet tall.  This sculpture was carved to honor and represent the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, the Anishinaabe traditional knowledge that collectively represents what is needed for community: Love, Respect, Honesty, Bravery, Truth, Humility and Wisdom.

All My Relations was created to reflect all ethnicity and cultures and all the connections we have with each other. The design features seven swirling circles on each of the four sides of the 12,000-pound black granite column, with the circles on each side all connected to each other.

Jason Quigno is a nationally recognized award-winning artist and is a direct descendant of Chief Cobmoosa, also known as the Great Walker, one of the most recognized nineteenth-century Grand River Ottawa leaders.  He is also a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.  His studio is in Grand Rapids.

Quigno’s art can be found in many prestigious collections, most notably the Muskegon Museum of Art, Grand Valley State University, Fredrick Meijer Gardens, the Ziibiiwing Cultural Center of Mt. Pleasant, Central Michigan University, Delta Community College, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Quigno is represented by LaFontsee Gallery of Grand Rapids and Douglas, Michigan.

An announcement on a new site and dedication date for All My Relations will be made soon.

Download the All My Relations project FAQ here.

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Contact:  Ann Meisch, Public Relations, City of Muskegon (231.724.6721)