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Grand Traverse Reservation

This Ojibway Reservation is located in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Below are two maps of Grand Traverse Reservation. Though leaders of Ojibway Nation did sign treaty's in 1836 and 1855, pertaining to Grand Traverse Reservation, information about Grand Traverse Reservation presented here, is from historical accounts about 3 years after 1836's Treaty was signed. An Ojibway Reservation was set aside on the Peninsula where Old Mission, Michigan is now. A small part was located near where Acme, Michigan is now. Grand Traverse Reservation supposedly has a land area of 20,000 acres. However, Ojibway leaders of those times considered 1 mile to be 1 league or 3 miles. Grand Traverse Reservation has a land area of 60,000 acres. Two white Christian Missionaries were sent to Old Mission Site in May 1839, to establish a mission and school. After making landfall, they were met by one Ojibway man who told them that other Ojibway's were living in a village across Grand Traverse Bay, where Elk Rapids, Michigan is now. A message was sent to chief Aish-gwa-gwon-a-ba or Aish-gwa-go-na-be, at what is now Elk Rapids, about an arrival of two white Missionaries sent to establish a mission and school for their Reservation. On May 30, 1839 chief Aish-gwa-go-na-be invited them to cross Grand Traverse Bay to where Elk Rapids is now. They commenced to building houses and such and even had doors and windows sent to them from Mackinac.

However, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft arrived on June 20, 1839 and decided that Bower's Harbor would be an ideal location for a blacksmith and carpenter shops and for a farming agent. However, after consulting with an Ojibway leader, Schoolcraft agreed that Mission Harbor or Old Mission, would instead be selected. Exact location where those two Missionaries first landed. An Ojibway leader named chief Ah-go-sa (it means narrows in Ojibway) was leader of Old Mission. Chief Ah-ga-sa talked the lone missionary (the other one left on account of family troubles) to establish a mission and school also at Old Mission. He explained that his Ojibway Subjects refused to go to church and school where Elk Rapids is now. There were two Ojibway villages. One led by chief Aish-gwa-go-na-be and another, more important one, led by chief Ah-ga-sa. This information is critical because it's indicative of Grand Traverse Reservation extending much further north from where Acme, Michigan is now. Chief Ah-ga-sa then brought the Missionary to his village now known as Old Mission, to build a mission and school.

According to 1836's Treaty, Grand Traverse Reservation would be held in common for the term of 5 years and no longer except by permission of the U.S. It was a threat American leaders used to prevent Ojibway People from following prophesy and migrating west. Ojibway leaders would not have signed such treaty agreements. It signifies "it was a threat" that was not included in original treaty text! Grand Traverse Reservation is in fact an Ojibway Reservation that is genuine. During these early years of Grand Traverse Reservations history, many Ojibway's from Emmet County fled to Canada yet their Reservation is Little Traverse Bay Reservation. Some Ojibway's from Grand Traverse Reservation, went west to look over land yet came back to Grand Traverse Reservation suggesting they should stay at Grand Traverse Reservation. In 1850, Grand Traverse Reservation was not in the market for land selling. The Missionary that first landed at Old Mission in May 1839, was not helpful in defending Ojibway's in their attempt at keeping Grand Traverse Reservation. Instead he convinced many (they were really Odawah Ojibway's not citizens of Grand Traverse Reservation) to save money to purchase land west of Grand Traverse Bay. It was a violation of treaty agreements. In 1848, American leaders illegally sold Manistee or Manis'tig Reservation. Many Ojibway's of that Reservation, Relocated to Grand Traverse Reservation.

It's possible the Missionary was acting on their behalf. What followed is suspicious. It deals with old Manistee or Manis'tig Reservation. American leaders set aside several townships in Charlevoix, Emmit and Leelanaw Counties to be Reservations. It don't make sense because Grand Traverse Reservations Ojibway's never left Grand Traverse Reservation. Even as late as June 7, 1850 the Indian Office notified the General Land Office and told them Ojibway People continued to live within these Reservations and their lands must not be offered for sell as public lands. Then on July 31, 1855 another treaty was negotiated and signed. It set aside 3 townships supposedly for citizens of Grand Traverse Reservation. It don't make sense! Michigan allowed Ojibway citizens to become citizens of Michigan in 1850 and rights to sell land allotments yet those land allotments are yet under Grand Traverse Reservation jurisdiction. What Michigan leaders did was a violation of treaty agreements. In early 1852, the same Missionary that arrived in May 1839, Relocated Old Mission to where Omena, Michigan is. It deals with Manistee or Manis'tig Reservation being illegally sold by American leaders in 1848. Thus, 1855's Treaty set aside 3 townships for those Ojibway's from Manistee or Manis'tig Reservation. Grand Traverse Reservation is yet genuine! Today, Ojibway's of Grand Traverse Reservation are bogus. They are Odawah Ojibway's descended from those that bought land west of Grand Traverse Bay around 1850. They always put "Ottawa" first. However, they are either being fooled or fooling you. They probably don't know where Grand Traverse Reservation is located and that it is intact or genuine!


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