Across the nation, the influence of Critical Race Theory on how history is studied and taught in our educational systems has become hot button political issue. But what exactly is CRT and why has there been so much backlash against it? The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is hosting a forum to discuss these two questions and other issues concerning CRT featuring four Northern Michigan University faculty members. The CRT Forum will take place on Thursday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Jamrich Hall 1100. Due to Covid-19 regulations, the audience will be limited to 100 members and all attendees will be required to wear KN-95, N-95 or KF-95 masks during the event. The event will also be streaming live on Zoom.
Passcode: 294976

The four faculty members participating in the forum are as follows:

Dr. Lesley Larkin, professor, English

Dr. Meghan McCune, assistant professor, Anthropology

Dr. Allan Willis, department head and professor, History

Dr. Carter Wilson, department head and professor, Political Science

Moderator: Daniel Truckey, Director/Curator, Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center


In conjunction with the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center’s current exhibition, “The Seventh Fire: A Decolonizing Experience,” the Center will be presenting a residency on the Métis fiddling tradition featuring Jamie Fox and her father Jim on guitar. This residency is co-sponsored by the Hiawatha Music Co-op and will take place on November 17 and 18. Events are as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 17
    • Métis fiddle workshop, 1 p.m., at The Fold, 1015 N. Third St. #9, Marquette
      • Free to the public, donations welcome
    • Folk jam session, 7:30 p.m. at The Fold
      • Free to the public, donations welcome
  • Thursday, November 18
    • Jamie and Jim Fox Concert, Whitman Hall Commons, NMU, 7:30 p.m.
      • Tickets sold at the door, $10 adults, $5 students.

Jamie Fox is a Métis fiddler of the Aaniih and Nakoda tribes of Montana. The Métis are members of ethnic groups native to Canada and parts of the United States that trace their descent to both Indigenous North Americans and European settlers. Jamie grew up on the Fort Belknap Reservation of Northern Montana where she was immersed in a lively fiddle and dance tradition. She will perform selections from the tunes played there, derived from a mixture of Celtic, French, and Native American cultures, and some other “popular” Métis tunes that are played throughout Native country. She will be accompanied on guitar by her father, Jim Fox. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center and the Hiawatha Music Co-op, which both strive to celebrate and preserve the folk music traditions of the region.



Sonderegger21 - Challenges

On Friday, November 5, the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center and Center for Upper Peninsula Studies will present Sonderegger21 at the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University. Since 2001, the Sonderegger Symposium has been the preeminent conference on Upper Peninsula historical, cultural, economic and scientific topics. This year the theme is “Challenges” and the presentations will all focus on issues past and present that the region faces and ideas of how to address them. Admission is free and open to the public. There is no need to register. There will be a box lunch offered before the Keynote Address by Michigan State Senator, Ed McBroom.

To view the schedule for Sonderegger 21, please click on this link,

The public has two opportunities to view the sessions. They can attend in person at the Northern Center (wearing face masks will be required) or they can watch the stream of each room at this link,

Sonderegger21 will feature over a dozen presentations on many pressing issues including topics such as food insecurity, land use and development, the opioid crisis (past and present), NMU enrollment (past and present), tourism growing pains and the Picture Rocks National Lakeshore, economic development, environmental protection, the Civilian Conservation Corps, Upper Peninsula air bases, rural entrepreneurship, Native American intergenerational trauma and other topics.

Here is the schedule of presentations for the symposium. There are a few presentations and speakers that have yet to be confirmed but updated information will be posted soon on the Beaumier Center’s Facebook site, ( and the Beaumier Center’s website ( You can also call 906-227-3212 for more information.

8 a.m. – Welcome/Remarks – Ballroom IV

8:10 a.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • NMU Enrollment (Past and Future) – Daniel Truckey, Director, Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center; Jason Nicholas, Director, Institutional Effectiveness, NMU
  • Peninsula II
    • Air Bases of Northern Michigan and the Charlevoix Incident – Barry Levine (Remote)

9:20 a.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • Rural Health in the Upper Peninsula – Elise Bur, Director, Center for Rural Health, NMU
  • Peninsula II
    • Keep the U.P. Wild – Tyler Barron and Paul Dailey, Environmental Law and Policy Center (Remote)
    • Stop the Rocket! - Dennis Ferraro, Citizens for Safe & Clean Lake

10:30 a.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • Opioid Crisis (Past & Present) – Dr. Russell Magnaghi, Professor Emeritus of History, NMU; Josh Mickelson, Health Education Coordinator, LMAS District Health Department


  • Peninsula II
    • Civilian Conservation Corps and the UP’s Forests – Larry Chabot, Historian

11:40 a.m. 

  • Peninsula II
    • Box Lunch

12:50 p.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • Keynote Address, Michigan State Senator Ed McBroom
    • Tribute to Marion Sonderegger and Miriam Hilton – Dr. Russell Magnaghi

2 p.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • Native American Intergenerational Trauma – NMU students Bazile Panek, Yrsa Peterson, Kateri Phillips.
  • Peninsula II
    • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Growth – Superintendent David Horne

3:10 p.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • Rural Entrepreneurship – Corinne Bodeman, Instructor, W.L. Cisler College of Business, NMU
    • Economic Development in the U.P. – Marty Frittante, CEO of Invest UP
  • Peninsula II
    • UPLINK –Annika Peterson and Emily Tinder, Central U.P. and NMU Archives

4:20 p.m.

  • Ballroom IV
    • Coastlines & People – Dr. Sarah Mittlefehldt, Department of Earth, Environment and Geography, NMU; Dr. Jes Thompson, W.L. Cisler College of Busines, NMU
  • Peninsula II
    • Education Roundtable – Participants TBA

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center will be hosting architectural walking tours of the NMU campus this summer. These tours are free but are limited to 20 people. The tours will last approximately 90 minutes. To make a reservation for one of the following tours, please call 906-227-2549.

Walking tour dates: 

Thursday, September 9, 1 p.m.

Thursday, September 23, 1 p.m.

Robert and Matt

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center and Hiawatha Music Co-op are collaborating to present a special “Live from the Fold” concert on Thursday, February 11 at 7 p.m. “Songs of Labor” will be a virtual concert featuring Robert Jones and Matt Watroba. The concert will be free to the public, though donations will be appreciated. The public will be able to access the concert via either the Beaumier Center or Hiawatha Facebook sites on February 11.

“Songs of Labor” is part of a series of events connected with the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center’s current exhibition on the labor history of the Upper Peninsula. The exhibition is not currently open to the general public due to Covid-19 restrictions but this program will be an excellent introduction to the history of labor for all ages.

Ever since their first meeting, over twenty years ago, Robert Jones and Matt Watroba have been musical partners. Their relationship started when they hosted back-to-back radio shows on WDET-FM, Detroit. Later on they started performing together and in doing so discovered a friendship based on mutual respect and a love for traditional American music. Now Matt and Robert literally travel the nation extolling the virtues of “Music That Matters”. This is the music that America and the world have in common.  It is music that reflects history, social change, migration, hopes and dreams.  It is music that is rich and diverse, direct and powerful.

Anyone who has ever heard Robert Jones and Matt Watroba perform knows that they can keep an audience spellbound with their music and their wit. It’s not until one sees them teach that the breadth of their knowledge and their ability to inspire an audience becomes apparent.– Judy Gardner, Project Manager, Henry Ford Community College

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is a museum and educational center on the campus of Northern Michigan University. It celebrates the history and culture of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Hiawatha Music Non-Profit Corporation is organized exclusively to provide and promote traditional music and dance, educate and inform society on traditional American music and encourage the appreciation of such music through the facility of an annual traditional music