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Commission: Kalamazoo should keep 'Fountain of the Pioneers'

A historic preservation commission says the city of Kalamazoo should keep a park display that some say celebrates the forced removal of Native Americans. The  city's Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday agreed to encourage the city to continue its $2.8 million plan to restore the 76-year-old "Fountain of the Pioneers" and improve Bronson Park.

Those plans were approved in 2015 and include educational components created in consultation with a Native American tribe. Designed by Alfonso Iannelli, the fountain is on the National Register of Historic Places. The fountain includes a statue that depicts a Native American wearing a headdress and facing a weapon-wielding settler.

Some want the statue removed, saying it's racist and a reminder of the country's treatment of native tribes.

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