Michigami Down Under

Michigami Down Under


Michigami Down Under
Materials: stainless steel with oxidized steel and glass elements
Installed: 2020

For thousands of years before European settlers came to the Great Lakes, Native and Indigenous people used rods, spears, and nets to hunt fish for their own food, and also to trade. These were the Anishinaabe tribes, such as the Odawa, Saulteaux, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe (Chippewa).

Lake Michigan was their main source for fish. As the settlers continued to settle here, the big lake went by many names. Finally “Michigan” was settled on, a word believed to come from “Michigami” — a Native Ojibwa word for “great water” and home to over 139 native species of fish.

Made of steel and glass accents, Rau’s art is both a tribute to the wonderful fishing heritage of the Great Lakes, but also to the men and women who are managing these magnificent resources and preserving them for the future.

Michigami Down Under was made possible by the Mo & Linda White who dedicate this work to Mo’s father, a commercial fisherman, and by these amazing collaborators:

Jack & Joann Pope · Diane Wilbur & Jim Szalay · Maree & Jim Mulvoy · Tom & Julie Dawson · Mary-Ann Cheney & David Mix · Kathy & Harry Eiferle

Michigami Down Under4


Michigan Legacy Art Park recognizes and honors the Anishinaabe people on whose ancestral lands the park resides, ceded in the Washington Treaty of 1836. The Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples’ histories and traditions must always be protected and celebrated. By taking a moment in recognition of their traditional lands each time we enter the park, we can all affirm Indigenous sovereignty, history, and experiences — and express gratitude and appreciation to the Anishinaabe people for the gifts of their culture to the world.