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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chief Noonday Recognized for West Michigan Influence

chief noonday, Noahquageshik, Nawquageezhig
Chief Noonday statue

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"By learning about our past," Peter Secchia said, "we then therefore understand a little bit better what we have become."

This statue of Noahquageshik or Nawquageezhig, also known as Chief Noonday, was unveiled August 10, 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Chief Noonday Chapter of the North Country Trail Association bears his name in honor of his influence in West Michigan. The chapter covers Barry, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo Counties on the North Country Trail. Kent County, where the statue was placed, is actually covered by the West Michigan Chapter.

It is outstanding to see recognition given to an important historical figure. Grand Rapids is erecting a series of 25 bronze statues, the Grand Rapids Community Legends Program, to commemorate some of the city's most influential people.

Chief Noonday's likeness is placed on the west side of the Grand River, near the Blue Bridge on the campus of Grand Valley State University. The statue is a gift of the Peter F. Secchia Family Foundation. It is unclear how historically accurate the facial features are.

The Pottawattomi's "influence was felt among all tribes in this section of the country. He was a leader for the British in the war of 1812, witnessed the burning of Buffalo, and was at the side of Chief Tecumseh when the latter was killed," states the Chief Noonday Chapter web site. Very few historical records document his actions, but he was instrumental in opening Michigan to settlement.

See Chief Noonday Chapter of the NCTA
See Chief Noonday statue unveiled in Grand Rapids from M-Live
See Chief Noonday statue unveiled in Grand Rapids from WZZM-13

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