By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk
Years later, Nawquageezhgig led his people to live among the Grand River Ottawa peoples.
When traders and settlers began arriving in Grand Rapids, the American Indian leader was among those who welcomed them.
"He knew that wealth would come this way for his people," said sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez.
Chief Noonday, as he was called by English-speaking settlers, will be commemorated in a bronze statue to be installed downtown near the west bank of the Grand River.
Sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez has been commissioned to create the sculpture as part of the Community Legends Project.
The project, initiated by philanthropist Peter Secchia, is a long-term effort to place downtown 25 sculptures of important figures in the history of Grand Rapids.
Below: "From left, Community Legacy Project philanthropist Peter Secchia talks with committee member Joe Becherer, sculptor Antonio Tobia 'Toby' Mendez, and Director of Galleries and Collections at GVSU Henry Matthews about Mendez's newest sculpture for the Community Legends Project." (Katy Batdorff | The Grand Rapids Press)