Dr. Donald “Doc” Benson, who died at 80 on May 27, 2005, assembled a collection, which includes approximately 1000 Native American cultural items, and founded the Fort de Buade Museum in St. Ignace, Michigan. Dr. Benson was an orthodontist who also founded Might Mac Broadcasting. The collection was purchased from Dr. Benson’s widow with 2% gaming funds provided by the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The Michilimackinac Historical Society manages the museum for the City of St. Ignace.

Benson concentrated on items related to woodland cultures from the immediate area but also collected from other locations in the United States and Canada. According to Mrs. Benson, she and Dr. Benson traveled extensively and collected wherever they went. They frequented garage sales and antique markets and may have acquired items from old Fort Algonquin, a 1930s era museum located in St. Ignace.

The database also includes images and available documentation associated with Native American items in the control of the Michilimackinac Historical Society, which operates the Fort de Buade Museum and curates the City’s Fort de Buade Museum collection.

Please note that this website is not publicly available, and access will only be provided to those individuals whose governments have designated them to represent their tribes in this NAGPRA consultation process. Please click on the Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions links for information on setting up a user account and how to navigate through the website. The website provides you with opportunities to request additional information regarding specific materials, but the City of St. Ignace encourages you to contact us directly if you need any additional assistance navigating the website and/or need further information about the collection.

Fort de Buade Museum Collection Point of Contact
Erin Vanier
Curator/Collections Manager
Michilimackinac Historical Society
334 N. State St
St. Ignace, MI 49781
evanier.mhs@gmail.com
(906) 643-6627

Thank you very much for your tribe’s and your continued efforts to consult with the City of St. Ignace on this very important matter.

Sincerely,
Connie Litzner
Mayor, City of St. Ignace