The Center is composed of Native and non-Native members whose mission is to continue and preserve traditional Great Lakes Native American art, history and culture by helping pass those traditions on to Native People and educating the general public.
The National Center for Great Lakes Native American Culture, Incorporated (NCGLNAC) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) Indiana corporation made up of Native and non-Native people who have been involved with and are dedicated to preserving the millenia-long tradition, art, and history of Great Lakes Native American tribes. The corporation was founded in May 2001.
NCGLNAC was founded to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Native peoples of the Great Lakes area. We believe a strong cultural identity is important for Native people today, and that Great Lakes Native culture is of value for all people regardless of ancestry. We work to assist tradition-bearers in sharing “the old ways” with young and old alike, and to see traditional work rewarded. Whatever form it takes—craftwork, art, language study, history—our aim is to see that tradition passed on so it will not be lost.
While we honor and appreciate the traditions, arts and crafts of all American Indian People, NCGLNAC is dedicated specifically to preserving Great Lakes Native culture.
NCGLNAC also feels that there is much to be gained by including other cultures in this process. People cannot appreciate what they do not understand. Thus we welcome all people to our public programs. While our goal is to preserve Great Lakes Native culture, we aim to include everyone.
NCGLNAC is not sponsored by any tribe or government agency. It is empowered by a membership of Native and non-Native people as well as private donors who wish to ensure that the Great Lakes Indian Heritage will be preserved and passed on to future generations.
For the past 15 years, tradition-bearers and individuals now involved with NCGLANC have been presenting workshops, symposiums, history conferences, pow wows, and other events. Collectively, our board and presenters have decades of experience.
Since it was founded NCGLNAC has organized several successful events, most notably its signature craft workshops. Held over one weekend in the spring and one week in the summer, workshops feature a selection of 2-3 day classes in traditional Native crafts taught by some of the many tradition-bearers who have generously come to share their skills and knowledge with us. NCGLNAC has also organized a fall academic conference in past years.
NCGLNAC now owns nearly 30 acres (generously donated by the Jay County Fair Board) of beautiful, wooded land, complete with pond and wetlands, located just north of the Jay County Fairgrounds in Portland. The first ethno-botanical hiking trail is nearing completion and will be open to the public in 2008.