BAY MILLS TOWNSHIP, Mich — Students at a small Tribal college in Michigan are using 3D printing technology to produce reusable face masks for emergency workers in their area. A couple weeks ago, the advanced manufacturing program at Bay Mills Community College was asked to help with supplying eight local health organizations, according to Diverse reporter Sara Weissman.

The lightweight face shields will be sent to hospitals, police and fire departments, a volunteer ambulance station and a health center.  The students’ goal is to manufacture 150 masks per day, totalling 3,000 in a three-week period. Bay Mills Community College (BMCC), which is located in a northern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is working in cooperation with staff at Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District and Lake Superior State University. “People are just amazed at the roll-out of this,”  Dr. Christopher Griffen, technical director at the Great Lakes Composite Institute and an instructor at Bay Mills Community College, told Diverse. “We were able to really put this out fast … “[It took] “a lot of cooperation” [to get the masks] out the door and into the community as quickly as possible.”

BMCC, a tribally controlled community college and land grant institution, states it offers students a “culturally diverse environment that supports and maintains the Anishinaabek culture and language.”

According to its website, BMCC’s curriculum also “promotes preservation of the customs and beliefs of Native Americans” and is “designed to integrate traditional Native American values with higher education.”

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Author: Rich Tupica