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November 13, 2007 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (November 13, 2007) - Aquinas College will present the event “This Land Was Their Land,” a Native American spiritual land-blessing ceremony from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19 on the field outside Holmdene. The event is free and open to the public and is being organized by Deborah Wickering, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology and students of her course on “Indian Societies of Michigan.”

Dr. Wickering and her students are interested in what the landscape of Aquinas College looked like “pre-contact,” or, before the arrival of Europeans, when the Ottawa tribe inhabited the area. The event will include a presentation by Paul Bieneman, Ph.D., chair of the Geography Department, on pre-contact landforms on the site of Aquinas College’s present campus; and a spiritual land-blessing ritual in order to “honor the Native Americans who came before us,” said Wickering. The ritual was put together by students in the course, who, along with Wickering, “decided it was up to us as Europeans to honor them.”

The event is sponsored by the Women’s Studies Center at Aquinas College.

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