Zoom Meeting March 19, 2021
The link for the meeting is below and will also be sent out on Thursday as a reminder.
WHEN DOES THE MEETING START?  Here is the schedule:
  • At 12:00 pm the Zoom room will be available for our "breakout room/virtual tables" to have a conversation with other members.  President Julie will draw us all back into the main meeting room at 12:28 pm
  • At 12:30 pm the meeting will be called to order
  • At approximately 12:55 p.m. we will introduce our speaker
  • Speaker will start at approximately 1:00 p.m.
  • Meeting concludes at 1:30 p.m.
SPEAKER:   Bill Castanier, President of the Historical Society
TOPIC:  "How I-496 Construction Impacted Lansing's Black Community"
FOLLOW UP:  Please keep your microphone muted when you are listening.  Be aware of the lighting in your room, a well lit room with natural light if possible.  Please feel free to use Chat throughout the meeting.  If you have any questions for the speakers, ask them through Chat.
Biography for Bill Castanier
Bill has worked in advertising, public relations and journalism for more than 50 years. His interest in pubic and local history can be traced to the two years he worked as Deputy Director for the Michigan Sesquicentennial Commission. He worked for more than 25 years for the Michigan Department of Labor and the Michigan Economic Development Commission before retiring and writing for Lansing City Pulse
Zoom Meeting Link 
Below is the meeting link and dial in phone number for our Friday Rotary Club of Lansing Meetings on Zoom.  You will find the SAME link each week in the Rotogram so you will not have to look for a new weekly link. Thank you!
Topic: Rotary Club of Lansing Meeting
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 899 2218 2374
Passcode: 016004
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,89922182374#,,,,,,0#,,016004# US (New York)
Time: Noon, Friday, March 12, 2021
Editarian Report for March 5, 2021
12:00-12:28 Attendees assigned to chat rooms
12:33 CALL TO ORDER by President Julie Pingston and her ringing of the bell
Pat shared a very moving invocation focused on how quickly time is passing and that we must eliminate the ‘afters’ since it will soon be too late. “We don’t understand that when we resort to saying ‘I will do it after’, the coffee gets cold, priorities change, the charm is broken, health passes, kids grow up, parents get old, promises are forgotten, day becomes night, and life ends. Leave nothing for later since that is how we lose some of the best moments, experiences and friends. “Today is the day, the moment is now.”
PATRIOTIC SONG: My Country Tis of Thee by John Dale Smith
Julie noted that Ken Beachler was on today’s call for the first time in close to a year. Internet access has been an issue for him. Everybody waved to him although his microphone was not working to say hello back. It was a nice treat for the club to have him present!
Joel Hoffman introduced his 15-year-old grandson Mitchell “Moose” McGaugh and son-in-law Eric McGaugh. Both are Civil War buffs who are interested in hearing today’s presentation.
Sue Hansen introduced Brenda Geoghegan of Huntington Bank.
Todd Gute introduced Dalton Gatlin, President of New Covenant Christian School.
Rebecca Bahar-Cook introduced Debbie DeLeon who resides in Lansing but is also of the Odawa Tribe, like today’s speaker. It was wonderful to learn that Debbie’s daughter went to France for a year through Rotary International. It was a wonderful experience for which her family is grateful.
Katie Krick introduced Kim Barber of Globetrotter Travel and Erika Sheets from Berkshire Hathaway.
HEALTH OF THE CLUB: Diane Sanborn Happily, there is nothing to report.
President Julie introduced Jenn Dubey as our new Paul Harris Chair for the Foundation! In turn, Jenn presented a video, starring our own Dave Trumpie, to introduce this year’s Paul Harris Campaign. Dave talked about his father-in-law who had polio at the age of two and had to go away, alone, for a year to recover. To this day, he wears a brace on one of his legs. Although polio is now present in only two countries around the globe, if efforts do not continue towards its eradication, it is projected by experts that there will be 200,000 new cases of polio over the next 10 years. Dave and Jenn encourage each of us to give to the Paul Harris Campaign in April!! We must do our part.
President Julie also spoke about how Rotary International is currently hosting a webinar series to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion. Topics include The Power of Connection with Diverse Communities, Exploring the Black Experience in Rotary, and Intergenerational Relationships. If anyone is interested in viewing the past webinars, please follow this link:
Melanie spoke about how she has lined up a series of talks of a historical nature.
She then introduced today’s speaker, Eric Hemenway, who has an active role throughout Michigan in the preservation of materials related to the Odawa Tribe and Anishnaabek people (comprised of the Odawa, Ottawa, Ojibway, Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes together). Among other things, he sits on the Michigan Historical Commission and the Michigan Humanities Council.
Mr. Hemenway is also actively involved in repatriating the remains of Indians to their native homes and ensuring that content about Michigan’s Native American history is taught in classrooms across the state. He resides in Harbor Springs where he has been doing this historical work for 14 years.
SPEAKER: Eric Hemenway, Director of Archives and Records for the Little Traverse Bands of Odawa Indians, Harbor Springs, Michigan
TOPIC: “Company K Sharpshooters in the Union Army, Civil War”
1. The Company K Sharpshooters were the largest all Indian regiment east of the Mississippi. It was comprised of 139 soldiers, 43 of whom died of diseases or wounds during the Civil War. (Believe it or not, this was considered a decent survival rate for a Company at that time.) Most of the soldiers were from all over the Lower Peninsula. Fifty-one percent were Odawa, 36% were Ojibway/Ottawa/Chippewa, 8% were Potawatomi, and 5% unknown.
2. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, there was a great amount of tension between our nation’s Native American tribes and the U.S. Government. The Anishnaabek actually fought AGAINST the Americans in the War of 1812. Many treaties were drawn up after this time including the Treaty of Washington, DC in 1836 and the Treaty of Detroit in 1855. Each treaty was an attempt for the U.S. Government to gain more land while the Anishnaabek of Michigan were doing all they could to avoid removal to Oklahoma or Kansas.
3. A comparison of two treaty maps during this time showed how much land was ultimately seized and what a small amount of resources were left to Michigan’s Native American population. The Anishnaabek even sent scouts to Kansas to see if the move was feasible. They knew it never could be so opted for major land reductions and affronts to their lifestyle instead. All of this makes it incredible that the Anishnaabek were willing to fight in the Civil War.
4. Under President Andrew Jackson (1829-37), the Removal Policy was incredibly strong. Social and civil rights were diminished greatly while the U.S. Government tried to ‘civilize’ the Anishnaabek and other tribes across the nation. This included changing how they dressed, the languages they spoke, what different towns and settlements were called, and how they lived. There were many land, natural resource and lifestyle changes forced upon the Anishnaabek during this time and children were forced to attend an Indian Boarding School near Little Traverse, one of many throughout the country. What made this one stand out, however, is that it was the last to close—in the 1980s. A popular political cartoon of the time shows President Jackson as the paternal father of Indians because, in his estimation, they were ‘basically incapable of caring for themselves’.
5. The above backdrop gives an idea about what the Anishnaabek were up against when the Civil War came around. It is worth noting that, despite the treaties, Indian removal DID occur here in Michigan. The U.S. Army came, captured and moved people west. The tribes did what they could to avoid this fate, including fighting for the Union as a show of some sort of allegiance.
6. Yet when the Civil War began in 1861, the Odawa and Ojibway Tribes were denied entry into the Union Army. This was a result of total mistrust and discrimination. (African Americans were allowed in ahead of Indians.) But, by 1863, there had been so many defeats and casualties against the South that the U.S. Government changed its stance. They desperately needed more men to fill the ranks.
7. At this time, citizenship was only extended to Native Americans who were willing to act ‘civilized’, who were male, and who were willing to renounce their tribal citizenship. Women could also gain citizenship by marrying a white male and renouncing their tribal citizenship. Meanwhile, additional restrictions had been placed on the Indians’ ability to hunt, gather food, and continue their traditions. In fact, public opinion was so unfavorable of Indians at this time that even the Detroit Free Press in 1861 referred to them as ‘not yet civilized enough to attain citizenship’. They were considered a ‘poor, ignorant and dependent race’.
8. So why did they fight? Mr. Hemenway believes those in Company K were trying to prove themselves worthy. They were likely trying to earn money as well as social and political acceptance. Also, it was commonly feared that, should the Union lose the war, the Indians would be forced into slavery as had been so many Africans and their descendants. During a speech to the Anishnaabek warriors heading into battle in July 1863, Chief Nock-ke-chick-faw-me said, “If the South conquers, you will be slaves, dogs. There will be no protection for us; we shall be driven from our homes, our lands and the graves of our friends”.
9. The Company K Sharpshooters ultimately fought in some of the bloodiest, most pivotal battles in the war. They were at the Seven Days Battle in Virginia where 36,059 men died. They were also at the Siege of Petersburg, the last major battle of the war. They were even at the Battle of the Crater during which Union soldiers tunneled their way under the Confederate soldiers, loaded the tunnel below them with dynamite and blew up the earth—leaving a massive crater behind and countless dead. Ultimately, the Union command sent Company K and other soldiers of color into the crater ahead of them as a last ditch effort to make up for their lack of planning about what to do after the explosion. Better prepared at this point, the Confederates laid waste to all those in the crater. During this chaos, men on each side noted that there was a group of Indians (Company K members) who, as they were dying, pulled their shirts over their heads and, together, sang their tribal death song. How telling that they returned to their traditional ways at the moment of their death.
10. Eight from Company K were sent to the Andersonville POW Camp in Georgia. This was basically a death camp where four of the eight died. The rest lived but barely.
11. Several photos were shared from this time period. One was Daniel Mwo-ke-wenaw of Petoskey who killed 32 rebels and many officers. He died from his wounds in battle. Antoine Scott of Pentwater was recommended for the Medal of Honor twice for his acts of heroism at the Battle of the Crater. He never received a medal. Garrett Graveraet was a German-Ojibway soldier from Mackinac. From a wealthy family, Garrett was a musician and teacher at the mission school in Harbor Springs. He was a chief translator during the war yet died at the age of 23 at Spotsylvania. Garrett’s body was returned to Michigan and he is now buried on Mackinaw Island.
1. What efforts have been made to include indigenous history in the public schools?
Lots of efforts are underway. Lack of content to date is quite obvious. Mr. Hemenway is working on lesson plans on behalf of the state of Michigan—both locally and statewide.
2. What are your thoughts on the appropriation of Indian names for sports teams?
This sort of thing has always sent the wrong message. ‘Redskin’ is a very racist term and no other race has ever been represented in this way on behalf of sports, or butter, or beer… Such appropriation is nothing but offensive.
Mr. Hemenway appreciated his opportunity to share the story of the Company K Sharpshooters today. If anybody has connections to the movie industry, he thinks this would make for a wonderful movie script.
President Julie adjourned the meeting at 1:31 pm.
NEXT MEETING: March 12th, Zoom meeting at noon.
Valerie Marvin, Historian and Curator with the Michigan State Capitol
Topic: “A Woman’s Place is Under the Dome”
Stay well, Everyone!!
Pam Miklavcic's email is: 
Mar 19, 2021
How I-496 Construction Impacted Lansing's Black Community
Mar 26, 2021
"Genealogical Research"
Apr 02, 2021
Apr 09, 2021
View entire list
Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
March Birthday Chair
Whitney, Barb
Sanborn, Diane
Adams, Timothy
Chair of the Month
Dart, Melanie
Chair of the Day
Dart, Melanie
Shaski, John