The presentation will be at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex Community Room at 119 E. Central Ave. in Miami.

MIAMI - Marnie Leist, the Shawnee Tribe's appointed inaugural director for their new cultural center will share what life was like on an island in Alaska and how her experiences will shape the new Shawnee Tribe Cultural Center, which is set to open to the public this summer.

The presentation will be at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex Community Room at 119 E. Central Ave. in Miami.

With eagles soaring over stormy seas and towering slate cliffs, Leist was fortunate to have landed on Kodiak Island in 2005 to join the team of the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository, an Alaska Native museum. Charged with preserving artifacts thousands of years old, Leist was overwhelmed by the vibrancy of local culture on Kodiak Island. Values such as living from and honoring the land are integral to daily life.

Leist explains, “It was so rewarding to be a part of a passionate group of people who work hard to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for how people thrive on the island.”

From programs such as Community Archaeology, to creating exhibits with international partners, to the daily work of serving the public, the museum offers an inviting environment to celebrate Alutiiq culture. The second accredited tribal museum in the county, the Alutiiq Museum is known for creating engaging programs that have a lasting impact.

Leist now aims to work with folks here to develop exhibits and educational activities about Shawnee culture.

“I have met so many enthusiastic people who want to help the Shawnee Tribe Culture Center fulfill its mission. Reaching out to people to collaborate is vital to being relevant to the community,” she said.

Guests who attend Wednesday’s presentation will have the opportunity to give their two cents by voting on a favorite program idea, giving input about the Culture Center’s hours, learning about volunteer opportunities, and other ways to be involved. With the feedback received, the STCC team will create an online survey that will be available through social media.

The Shawnee Tribe Cultural Center is dedicated to being the place for Shawnees to tell the story of the Shawnee past, how that informs and shapes Shawnees today, and who they see themselves becoming tomorrow.