Michigan Indian Tribes
FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBES
(Federal List Last Updated 5/16)
- Bay Mills Indian Community of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- Hannahville Indian Community
- Huron Potawatomi, Inc.
- Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
- Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
- Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
- Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
- Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan
- Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan and Indiana)
- Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
- Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
STATE RECOGNIZED TRIBES
(Not recognized by the Federal Governemnt)
- Burt Lake Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, Inc.
- Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians
- Gun Lake Band of Grand River Ottawa Indians
- Swan Creek Black River Confederated Ojibwa Tribes
UNRECOGNIZED / PETITIONING TRIBES
- Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Letter of Intent to Petition 09/12/1985; Declined to acknowledge on 9/21/2006, 71 FR 57995
- Consolidated Bahwetig Ojibwas and Mackinac Tribe. Letter of Intent to Petition 12/04/1979; Postal Service returned certified letter 11/5/1997
- Genesee Valley Indian Associatio
- Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians (formerly Grand River Band Ottawa Council). Letter of Intent to Petition 10/16/1994.
- Gun Lake Village Band of Pottawatomi Indians. Recognized only as part of Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan.
- Lake Superior Chippewa of Marquette. Letter of Intent to Petition 12/13/1991.
- Little Owl Band of Central Michigan Indians. Letter of Intent to Petition 11/27/2000.
- Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians. Letter of Intent to Petition 5/13/1998.
- Maconce Village Band of Ojibwa. Letter of Intent to Petition 3/7/2000.
- Maple River Band of Ottawa. Letter of Intent to Petition 1/31/2005.
- Muskegon River Band of Ottawa Indians. Letter of Intent to Petition 7/26/2002.
- Ooragnak Indian Nation. Letter of Intent to Petition 12/1/1999.
- Ottawa Colony Band of Grand River Ottawa Indians. Recognized only as part of Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan.
- Potawatomi Indians of Indiana and Michigan. Recognized only as part of Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan and Indiana.
- Swan Creek Black River Confederated Ojibwa Tribes. Letter of Intent to Petition 05/04/1993.
- The Chi-cau-gon Band of Lake Superior Chippewa of Iron County. Letter of Intent to Petition 02/12/1998.
- Wyandot of Anderdon Nation. Letter of Intent to Petition 1/21/2003. (Michigan and Ontario).
FIRST CONTACT TO PRESENT
Following the prehistoric inhabitants, Michigan's residents were the tribal groups of Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi Native Americans.
When European explorers arrived in the Michigan region in the early 17th century it was already populated by Algonkian Indians. The Chippewa and Menominee tribes lived in the Upper Peninsula, while the Miami, Ottawa, and Potawatomi occupied the Lower Peninsula. The name "Michigan" actually came from the Chippewa word "Michigan," which means "great lake."
Before contact with the Europeans, these Native Americans lived by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Some tribes raised squash, corn, and rice. Clothing was made from the skins of animals they ate. Their tools were fashioned from animal parts such as bone and sinew. They constructed their homes of mud and bark.
The arrival of the white man had disastrous effects on Michigan’s Native Americans. During the 1700s, nearly two-thirds of their population died from diseases brought by European settlers. Many tribes eventually lost their lands to the U.S. government. By 1838, almost all Indian villages in Michigan had been abandoned.
PRE-CONTACT MICHIGAN TRIBES
PRE-HISTORIC CULTURES IN MICHIGAN