Great Lakes Lifeways Institute

Embracing Regional Traditions, Land, Arts and Culture


The Great Lakes Lifeways Institute was founded in 2009 with a vision to embrace our region’s rich cultural and biological diversity, to draw strength from our roots and to enrich the lives of residents of West Michigan and broader Great Lakes Region through cultivating a sense of place.  We believe that in order for our communities to protect and preserve this beautiful region, we must seek to understand its uniqueness historically, culturally and ecologically.   Interaction leads to understanding.  From understanding comes value... and how can we protect and care for what we do not value?

About Us

Ed Pigeon - President

Richard Gillett

Dr. Douglas Ellinger

Michael Poole

Kevin Finney

Executive Director

tel. 616-644-3822

email Kevin HERE

Read more about Kevin in this profile article from the Grand Rapids Press

Kevin Finney MLIVE Profile

Our Mission

To preserve and share the heritage of the land, traditions, arts and culture of the Great Lakes Region as an enrichment of our communities and an investment in future generations.

Our Board of Directors

Erik Vosteen

Assistant Director

tel. 574-518-0774

email Erik HERE

Our Staff: