Commission: Kalamazoo should keep ‘Fountain of the Pioneers’

Posted at 9:34 AM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 09:34:45-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A historic preservation commission says the city of Kalamazoo should keep a park display that some say celebrates the forced removal of Native Americans.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the city’s Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday agreed to encourage the city to continue its $2.8 million plan to restore the 76-year-old “Fountain of the Pioneers” and improve Bronson Park.

Those plans were approved in 2015 and include educational components created in consultation with a Native American tribe. Designed by Alfonso Iannelli, the fountain is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The fountain includes a statue that depicts a Native American wearing a headdress and facing a weapon-wielding settler. Some want the statue removed, saying it’s racist and a reminder of the country’s treatment of native tribes.