Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center Reopens To The Public
OKEMOS, MI - Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization located right next to the Municipal Building in the Meridian Historical Village’s heart. Nokomis is a center for the Great Lakes’ indigenous people; the goal is to try and hold up the teachings and the culture both past to present day of the original native people.
The center held its reopening event on Feb. 12-13 to showcase what they’ve been working on since they had to shut down due to the pandemic.
“We wanted to open and say, 'Hey, we’re here, we’re open and look what we’ve done and look what we’re doing'. To kind of get a feel for where we are going and reintroduce ourselves to the community,” said Vicki Vorges, volunteer and Nokomis member.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the center nearly a year ago, they felt it was time to reopen to the community. Through grants and charitable work from their volunteers, they’ve been able to stay afloat during the shutdown.
“Nokomis is a place where we can help keep our traditions alive, and also too it’s a place where people can understand who we are as Anishinaabe, as native people,” said Aarin Dokum, board president and language specialist.
The center has a gallery full of artwork, artifacts, and cultural clothing displays. The gallery has a walkway now to allow for proper six-foot distancing. The gallery is still in progress but will be finished soon.
Due to large groups not being allowed in the gallery, the center is hoping to start virtual programming to hopefully continue bringing the teachings of the culture into the school programs. This programming will include virtual tours and educational videos.
Nokomis is open to the public, and their new hours are 10:00 am–3:00 pm on Fridays, and 10:00 am–3:00 pm on Saturdays.