Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Paul Johnson to Speak about Michigan's Native American Tuition Waiver Program

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 17, the Clarke welcomes Paul Johnson to officially open our newest exhibit, Native Treaties - Shared Rights.

The treaties signed between Tribal Governments and the United States Government are fundamental to understanding the relationship between Native Americans and the many groups who immigrated to North America after 1492. The treaties are often complex and interpretation sometimes challenging. Paul Johnson is one of those individuals who has helped define the meaning of treaties in Michigan.

Trial brief related to Johnson Case
Click to enlarge image
In 1972, he filed a lawsuit claiming that members of the several Tribes were entitled, by treaty, to free education​ at the University of Michigan. Ultimately, he lost the legal case, but the moral argument brought forward from the litigation led to the passage of the Michigan Native American Tuition Waiver program in 1976. One person can change society. Mr. Johnson’s story is one example of such change.

This event is free and open to the public. The presentation begins at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Auditorium with a reception in the Clarke to follow. If you would like more information about this and other exhibits, please see our "Exhibits" webpage or contact us (; 989-774-3352) for more information.

The Clarke has prepared a web exhibit related to Native Treaties - Shared Rights with a wealth of information. To view it, visit the Clarke webpage. This exhibit, which will be available to view in the Clarke through September, is made possible thanks to a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.