A replica of a Christopher Columbus ship. Photo: Columbus Ships

Grand Traverse Band wasn't consulted about ill-timed visit by Christopher Columbus replica ships

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is on the waters in Michigan to document the arrival of two Christopher Columbus replica ships.

The tribe announced a peaceful protest last week as a way to remind people of Columbus' genocidal legacy, UpNorthLive.Com reported. Plans called for kayaks and canoes to greet the replicas of Niña and Pinta on Thursday but the scheduled abruptly changed so the tribe went out to its namesake Grand Traverse Bay on Wednesday afternoon instead.

"We are not here in protest, we are just here to document the entry of these ships that represent genocide for indigenous people of the Americas," Desmond Berry, the director of the tribe's Department of Natural Resources, said in a Facebook live video in the afternoon.

A group called the Maritime Heritage Alliance invited the ships to the Michigan, The Traverse City Ticker reported. But Berry said the tribe wasn't consulted even though they will be traveling on waters adjacent to the reservation.

The timing of the event also has come into question. The tribe is hosting its annual powwow in Peshawbestown, which is located on Grand Traverse Bay, this Saturday.

“It’s disgusting, it’s very disrespectful,” Randy Day of Idle No More Michigan told The Ticker. “Especially when it’s the Peshabestown Pow-Wow weekend and other indigenous communities are coming through…a lot of people are viewing this as basically an attack on their safety.”

Read More on the Story:
Tribe to hold peaceful demonstration during replica ship visit (UpNorthLive.Com August 14, 2017)
Sailing In For Tours...And Protests? (The Traverse City Ticker August 16, 2017)