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Grand Traverse Chippewa Reservation


This Ojibway Reservation is located in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Below is a map of Grand Traverse Chippewa Reservation. Though leaders of Ojibway Nation did sign treaty in either 1836 or 1854, establishing Grand Traverse Reservation, information about Grand Traverse Reservation presented here, is from Andrew Blackbird's 1887 book "History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan." Blackbird was educated and shrewd. His description about Grand Traverse Reservation could be a doppelganger! Of course, that be of land instead of people. Blackbird described a fued over a murder of an Ojibway by an Ottawa. It's descriptions are identical to how white leaders reached treaty agreements with Ojibway leaders. As a result of the murder, councils were held to come to a compromise. According to Blackbird, Ojibway leaders favored war over the issue. A compromise was agreed upon to avoid war. An area of land known as the Grand Traverse Region was ceded to the Ojibway's. Blackbird described the land set aside as being from Sleeping Bear Dunes, 30 to 40 miles or 48.4 to 64.5 kilometers east. It extended from Grand Traverse Bay's north, down it's east shores. Then it extended in paralell lines southeasterly to Muskegon Rivers source which are Higgins Lake and Houghton Lake. This land description is almost identical to the Reservation set aside on September 30, 1854. However, excluding the southeastern portion. Ojibway People were also allowed access to all of Michigan's Lower Peninsula's waterways to fish, hunt and trap. I would estimate Grand Traverse Chippewa Reservation has a land area of 20 to 30 Townships or 460,801 acres or 691,203 acres. That be around 720 sq. mi. or 1,080 sq. mi. or 1,864.8 sq. km. or 2,797.2 sq. km. White leaders were fixated on Reservations not much greater than 1,000 sq. mi. or 2,600 sq. km.



It was probably set aside around 1836 or so. As more whites invaded Michigan, problems followed over land and race. Ojibway leaders during those times followed prophesy and sent many of their Ojibway Subjects west. American leaders did not want that to happen. However, they could not control their greedy citizens. They constantly caused trouble. Though most Ojibway People left and migrated west, many stayed. Ojibway leaders that had authority to cede land, never ceded Grand Traverse Reservation. After 1854, they eventually became landless. However, they never considered themselves landless. They always considered Grand Traverse Reservation theirs. In 1902, they became subjects of Chief Rocky Boy. In early 1902, chief Rocky Boy sent a letter to President Roosevelt telling him that chief Rocky Boy was leader of all landless Ojibway People in various parts of the United States. They don't know at Grand Traverse Reservation, that they are subjects of the Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. Their population is around 4,000. Around 440 to 450 live at what they consider Grand Traverse Reservation. However, the RBTCI considers the original Grand Traverse Reservation to be intact. We follow original agreements!





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