On June 15, 2022, the Bay Mills Indian Community will begin to manage the historic Point Iroquois Lighthouse under an agreement with the Hiawatha National Forest.
Under this agreement, the Indian community of Bay Mills will operate the lighthouse and museum to share their history. “The area surrounding the Point Iroquois Lighthouse has cultural and historical significance to the Anishinaabe people,” said Kari Thompson, Hiawatha East Zone Recreation Program Manager. “This collaboration means the Bay Mills Indian community can tell their story and share Anishinaabe history, cultural information and artifacts at the lighthouse.
“For many generations, the Bay Mills Indian community has been involved with the lighthouse, so this is a natural opportunity to engage the tribes in Point Iroquois,” said St. Ignace District Ranger, Robert West. “The historic new agreement will allow the Bay Mills Indian Community and the Forest Service to create entirely new management and new stories to tell in this very special place.”
“The hope of Bay Mills’ partnership with the U.S. Forest Service in managing the Point Iroquois Lighthouse is to create an inclusive and welcoming space that allows visitors to experience the connections of the past to the present of our people and the importance of the connection between the land, our community and Anishinaabe culture,” said Museum Director Candice LeBlanc. “The vision is to create and build a place of learning, connection and appreciation for Anishinaabe people and Indian community of Bay Mills.”
The 152-year-old lighthouse on the Lake Superior coast attracts approximately 40,000 visitors annually and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. For many years, Hiawatha has shared the structure’s historical and cultural significance through the museum.
The site will open its doors to the public on June 15, 2022.
More information about the Hiawatha National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/hiawatha