We care deeply about the communities we serve throughout Michigan – and about the unique cultures and traditions within them. That’s why the DTE Energy Foundation supports the River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation on its mission to build enduring relationships through world-class experiences that share the untold stories of the battles on the River Raisin. In 2019, the DTE Energy Foundation awarded a $375,000 grant to help the battlefield foundation build an 18th century Detroit River longhouse, and since then, local tribes and DTE Energy volunteers have volunteered over 900 hours and funds to preserve, protect and restore this important chapter in our region and nation’s history.
The River Raisin National Battlefield Park sits at the confluence of indigenous and European nations in early America. In fact, Tecumseh’s historic American Indian confederation delivered the United States’ greatest defeat as part of the War of 1812 on this hallowed ground – leading to the rally cry “Remember the Raisin”.
The story of America’s first peoples is critical to understanding our history. The Longhouse project includes aspects of both Iroquois and Anishinabek cultural, social and engineering abilities. The design itself is based on historic materials, including French records, archaeological records, and traditional cultural knowledge of practices from tribal elders and historians.
DTE employees – along with tribal members –volunteered their time to bring this project to fruition and we couldn’t be prouder. Now, Michiganders will be able to learn about this incredibly important part of our history. The longhouse will serve as a classroom and educators throughout Michigan are invited to live this experience as part of their curriculum starting in August.