Community speaks up for Native American history

Derek Bailey presented a Native American history lesson to commissioners at Monday night's meeting.

One man is concerned Traverse City's native culture is not represented in the new historic markers near the Clinch Park tunnel.

People got a chance Monday night to hear the native perspective at the city commission meeting.

Several people came out to support the request to add a historic marker to the sidewalk recognizing the Anishinaabek.

Derek Bailey, an Odawa citizen, went before the commission expressing his concern that the native history is being overlooked among the renovations to Clinch Park.

Bailey, along with other representatives from the local native community, spoke about the history of the Anishinaabek people, which pre-dates the events highlighted on the bricks near Clinch Park.

Bailey said the issue is not about one person. It is about bringing everyone together.

â??There are individuals here from the non-native community,â?? said Bailey. â??I was just greeted by them, saying, â??Hey, we're here to support. Hopefully there's time we can speak because we'd like to see this recognition too,â?? a rightful or respectful recognition for the Anishinaabek.â??

â??It would be nice to see a placard of some sort, along with the other plaques we see along the TART trail, recognizing the Native American culture that was here first,â?? said Commissioner Jim Carruthers.

The people who spoke at the meeting agreed something needs to be done to acknowledge the Anishinaabek people and their history.

A formal request for commissioners' action has not yet been filed. Monday night was an opportunity for the people to address the commissioners.

Also at the meeting, commissioners voted to rezone a piece of property in connection with the Washington Place development.

This prepares the corner of Cass Street and Washington to be sold to a private developer.

The measure passed without much discussion. Carruthers proposed the commissioners were on board because it's a great project for Traverse City.

â??I think most of the city commissioners are supporting this because, one, it's taking advantage of building development in Traverse City, as well as putting property back on the tax roll, so the taxable value will now come to the general fund,â?? said Carruthers.

The development would include a mixed-use building for retail as well as condominiums.

The project is still in its beginning stages. They will now move into sales agreements and re-evaluating the property's value.

Commissioners also approved increasing parking permit rates for the Larry C. Hardy and Old Town parking decks.