Shannon Martin has served as the Director of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways since December 2007. The Ziibiwing Center, the Midwest’s Premier Award-Winning American Indian Museum, is owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. Shannon leads a team that addresses cultural & historic preservation, repatriation & reburial of ancestral remains, artistic expression & promotion, tribal collections & archival management, cultural resource conservation, Ojibwe language revitalization, exhibition development, protection of intellectual property, and stewardship of tribal cemeteries, burial grounds & sacred sites.
Shannon began her tenure with the Ziibiwing Center project in November 2001 as the Community Education Research Specialist and Cultural Resource Development Manager. She was integral to the design of the 9,000 sq. ft. permanent exhibition about the Anishinaabe people entitled, Diba Jimooyung (Telling Our Story). She also assisted in the development of the educational, marketing, and visitor programming plans for the ten-million dollar 34,349 sq. ft. cultural center and museum. Opening to the public on May 21, 2004, the facility located near Mt. Pleasant, Michigan also contains a research center, Ojibwe language immersion room, changing exhibition gallery, tribal collections & archives storage space, gift shop, and meeting rooms.
Shannon continues to be an active citizen throughout “Indian Country.” Since birth, she has participated in pow wows, treaty demonstrations, ceremonies, and other cultural events. She is a member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society (original Anishinaabe way of life) and carries a Second Degree in Midewiwin teachings. In February 2006, Shannon was selected from hundreds of applicants as one of eighteen emerging leaders invited to participate in the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) Ambassadors Program. She was further recognized as the Ford Foundation Fellow for the 2006-2007 class of ambassadors at a Washington, D.C. gala in September 2006. The program took Martin and her fellow ambassadors to Bolivia where they met with indigenous activists and leaders – including Presidente Evo Morales Ayma at his private residence. [Source: GVSU]