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Ojibway Indians of Michigan


In 1492, what is now Michigan, was home to non Ojibway Indians. About 1,000 to 2,000 years earlier or about 1,500 to 2,000 years from this era, Ojibway leaders followed prophecy which told them to migrate west. If they didn't they would be destroyed. They settled in Alberta, Montana and on to Pacific Oceans Coastline. After whites invaded in 1492, Ojibway Indians living far west, eventually were told about those people mentioned in prophecy invading. According to 1832's Edinburgh Encyclopedia, two forces of Ojibway Indians took control of land from Missouri River to Atlantic Oceans Coastline. It took time for this conquest to happen. A northern group of Ojibway People forced their way directly east from Alberta and Montana, while another group came up from a southwest location. It's those northern Ojibway Indians from Alberta and Montana that brought Michigan under their control. They did not want to fight other Indian Nations during this forced east migration. They wanted their support. Instead of helping them, they attacked Ojibway People which caused vicious war between them. Chief or Ogima Sagima, was leader of Ojibway Indians of Michigan that settled on islands in Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan and Superior. Possibly from Manitolin (Ghostings) Island, he led 10,000's of Ojibway Soldiers south to Michigan. Thus, an Ojibway conquest of Michigan commenced. Ogima Sagima then sent 10,000's of Ojibway Soldiers and their families east and north. They settled along Ottawa River and St. Lawrence River. They were preparing to defend Indian land against those people mentioned in prophecy. First, vicious wars between Ojibway People of Michigan and other Indian Nations happened. Then whites lured those Indian Nations fighting Ojibway's to join them. That's exactly what Ojibway leaders did not want to happen. They had to fight white invaders and their idiotic Indian allies. By 1600, Ojibway Indians of Michigan had brought all of Michigan under their control. They kept in contact with Ojibway People back west. An Ojibway author named Andrew Blackbird, wrote that they went back west to Shoshone People. He also wrote that Ojibway Language was extensively spoken among Shoshone People which means they are Ojibway Indians. According to Blackbird they lived adjacent to Rocky Mountains or in those Rocky Mountains. Ottawa Indians and Potawatomi Indians are Ojibway. Whites may have got confused by Ojibway Indians Totemic System. There were 6 major Ojibway Totems and many smaller totems within each of those 6 major totems. An Ojibway person from one of their totems, called other totems "nation." However, they are a same people. They spoke a same common language. Below is a list of Ojibway Indians of Michigan Reservations. Remember that both Ottawa and Potawatomi are really Ojibway's. Blackbird wrote that there were only a few "pure" Ottawa Indians in Michigan. He meant Ojibway's. Though he wrote that Ojibway's and Ottawa's were different tribes, that's incorrect. Ottawa's represented liberal Ojibway's who were largely mixed in race, while Ojibway's were traditional.





Bay Mills Ojibways:
This band of Ojibways, inhabit Bay Mills Community in Chippewa County, Michigan. Size of this Ojibway Reservation is approximately 2,189 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 1,372

Grand Traverse Ojibways And Ottawa's:
This band of Ojibway's, inhabit Grand Traverse Reservation in Michigan. Size of this Ojibway and Ottawa Reservation is approximately 1,100 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 3,606

Hannahville Potawatomi:
This band of Potawatomi, inhabit Hannahville Indian Community in Michigan. Size of this Potawatomi Reservation is 4,025 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 703

Isabella Ojibways:
This band of Ojibways, inhabit Isabella Reservation in Michigan. Size of this Ojibway Reservation is approximately 217 sq. mi.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 2,754

Keweenaw Bay Ojibways:
This band of Ojibways, inhabit Keweenaw Bay (aka L'Anse) Reservation in Michigan. Size of this Ojibway Reservation is around 200,000 acres or a third of Baraga County's land area.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 3,159

Lac Vieux Ojibways:
This band of Ojibways, inhabit Lac Vieux Indian Community in Michigan. Size of this Ojibway Reservation is approximately 296 acres. There are two sections that make up this small Reservation. Their village located just north of Lac Vieux Desert (it's a lake) is traditional.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 406

Little River Band of Ottawa's:
This band of Ottawa's, inhabit their Reservation in Michigan. Size of this Ottawa Reservation is Approximately 2,000 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Popluation is 2,675

Little Traverse Ottawa's:
This band of Ottawa's, inhabit northwestern part of Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Size of this Ottawa Reservation is approximately 40 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 3,167

Matchebenashshewish Potawatomi:
This band of Potawatomi, live in south Michigan. Presently this band of Potawatomi live in a Potawatomi community.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 127

Nottawaseppi (aka Huron) Potawatomi:
This band of Potawatomi, live in south Michigan. Size of their Reservation is approximately 348 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 447

Pokagon Potawatomi:
This band of Potawatomi, live in south Michigan. Size of their Reservation is approximately 4,025 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 2,541

Sault St. Marie Ojibways:
This band of Ojibways, inhabit Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Size of this Ojibway Reservation is approximately 1,603 acres.
Language is Ojibway
Population is 30,324



Forgotten Michigan Ojibway Reservations

Osceola Reservation


On July 31, 1855 a treaty was signed at Detroit. It set aside several Ojibway Reservations in Michigan. One was located in Mason and Oceana Counties, Michigan and may be named Osceola Reservation. It covered what are now Eden and Custer Townships in Mason County and Crystal and Elbridge Townships in Oceana County. It covered nearly 150 sq. mi. Around 1,700 Ojibway's moved to this Reservation in 1857. American leaders followed treaty agreements until 1874. For some reason American leaders allowed whites to invade and colonize this Ojibway Reservation in 1874 or possibly Ojibway's of this Reservation again followed prophecy. They also forced Ojibway People to accept land allotments they could sell to non Indians. These actions were illegal. In 1860's census, nearly all Ojibway's living in this Reservation used Ojibway surnames. In 1890's census, their population in Mason and Oceana Counties was 606. For all legal purposes this Reservation yet exists. It's boundaries may be different than detailed. Most of this Reservation is heavily forested. Ojibway leaders had already ceded Michigan land long before 1855. 1855's Treaty of Detroit is directly linked to October 17, 1855's Treaty signed in Montana. Many Ojibway People continued to live in Michigan in 1855 or were coerced to leave Montana or possibly Florida (Seminoles were fighting their 3rd war against Americans during that time and were forced to leave Florida) for their Reservation in Mason and Oceana Townships in Michigan. A new Seminole Reservation was created in 1857. It may be this Michigan Reservation. In 1836, a mass migration of Michigan Ojibway's happened. Many went west to Montana, while many more went to Kansas and Oklahoma. Many also went to Florida and also Bahamas Andros Island. Osceola County, Michigan is 24 miles east of Mason County, Michigan. American leaders didn't want Ojibway People to migrate. They wanted Ojibway People to remain in Michigan. However, Ojibway leaders knew from prophecy they had to migrate or be destroyed. It's possible American leaders coerced many to return to Michigan. Below is a map of Osceola Reservation which yet exists.







High Islands Reservation


Another Reservation was created with July 31, 1855's Treaty of Detroit. In it's treaty text it is clearly written it was set aside for "Beaver Island Band." That tells you a great deal. So "Beaver Island" is involved yet supposedly only "Garden Island and High Island" were set aside. We know "Beaver Island" was also set aside for Ojibway's. In late 19th century, Ojibway leaders complained about losing this Reservation located in Lake Michigan's extreme north, illegally. This Reservation yet exists! Below is a map of "High Islands Reservation."







Grand Traverse Reservation


Another Reservation was created with July 31, 1855's Treaty of Detroit. It was created for Grand Traverse Ojibway's. It's located in Lower Peninsula of Michigan's extreme northwest. In 1890's census, their population was 295 in Leelanau County and 184 in Antrim County. A total of 479. In 1860, it was around 1,500. It was definitely much higher in 1860's census. Not as high as Osceola Reservations yet over 1,000. This Reservation yet exists! Below is a map of "Grand Traverse Reservation." This Reservation was not created on May 27, 1980. It was created on July 31, 1855. American leaders refused to follow treaty agreements. Many Ojibway's followed prophecy and migrated far west.







Cheboygan Reservation


Another Reservation was created with July 31, 1855's Treaty of Detroit. It was created for Cheboygan Ojibway's. It's located in Lower Peninsula of Michigan's extreme north, adjacent to Lakes Huron and Michigans northern shores. Adjacent to this Ojibway Cheboygan Reservation on it's west, was another Ojibway Reservation we Ojibway's don't want. We'll name it Bear Creek Reservation. We Ojibway's are superstitious. You can have Bear Creek Reservation. We'll keep Cheboygan Reservation. In 1890's census, population of Ojibway's in Emmet County was 914, while Cheboygan County's Ojibway population was 132. So 1,046 Ojibway's were living there in 1890. In 1860, their population was probably over 3,000. Cheboygan Reservation yet exists! Recently a judge with a bad heart, ruled that Bear Creek Reservation never existed. He wrongfully concluded it was only land allotments. He lied. Below is a map of Cheboygan Reservation.







Mackinac Reservation


Another Reservation was created with July 31, 1855's Treaty of Detroit. It was created for Mackinac Ojibway's. It's located in extreme eastern Mackinac County, Michigan which is located in Michigans Upper Peninsula. In 1890's census, Mackinac County's Ojibway population was 227. In 1860, it was possibly around 700. This Ojibway Reservation yet exists! It is heavily forested. Below is a map of Mackinac Reservation. American leaders refused to follow treaty agreements. Many Ojibway's followed prophecy and migrated far west. Not all left however. American leaders refused to recognize them.







Non Federally Recognized Michigan Ojibway's


Non Federally Recognized Michigan Ojibway's whose leaders of very long ago, refused to acknowledge loss of their ancestors Reservations to Americans, are determined to regain recognition. However, it will be very difficult to regain their original Reservations, especially Grand Traverse Reservation. Those other four Ojibway Reservations which include Cheboygan Reservation, High Islands Reservation, Mackinac Reservation and Osceola Reservation must be returned to Ojibway People. Michigans Non Federally Recognized Ojibway's include these following bands:



Lake Superior Ojibways of Michigan:
Burt Lake Ottawa's And Ojibways:
Consolidated Bauwetig Ojibways And Ottawa's:
Grand River Ottawa's:
Grand Lake Ottawa's:
Swan Creek And Black River Ojibways:

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