Bay Mills Indian Community


Last Updated: 1 year

Who are the Bay Mills Indian Community?

The Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC), is an Indian reservation forming the land base of one of the many Sault Ste. Marie bands of Chippewa Indians. (Not to be confused with the “Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians” located in Sault Ste. Marie, MI). It is also the tribal name of this federally recognized Indian tribe.

Official Tribal Name: Bay Mills Indian Community

Address:  12140 W. Lakeshore Drive, Brimley, MI 49715
Phone: 906.248.3241
Fax:  906.248.3283 

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

 Gnoozhekaaning or Place of the Pike

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Alternate names: Chippewa Indians

Alternate spellings / Mispellings: 

Bay Mills Indian Community T-Shirt
Chippewa in other languages:

Aoechisaeronon or Eskiaeronnon (Huron)
Assisagigroone (Iroquois)
Axshissayerunu (Wyandot)
Bawichtigouek or Paouichtigouin (French)
Bedzaqetcha (Tsattine)
Bedzietcho (Kawchodinne)
Dewakanha (Mohawk)
Dshipowehaga (Caughnawaga)
Dwakanen (Onondaga)
Hahatonwan (Dakota)
Hahatonway (Hidatsa)
Jumper, Kutaki (Fox)
Leaper, Neayaog (Cree)
Nwaka (Tuscarora)
Ostiagahoroone (Iroquois)
Rabbit People (Plains Cree)
Regatci or Negatce (Winnebago)
Saulteur (Saulteaux)
Sore Face (Hunkpapa Lakota)
Sotoe (British)
Wahkahtowah (Assiniboine)

Region: Northeast (Eastern Woodland)

State(s) Today: Michigan

Traditional Territory: See Ojibwa (Chippewa) Migrations

Confederacy: Council of Three Fires, Chippewa


Reservations: Bay Mills Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land

In 1937, land was purchased for Bay Mills and the BMIC was organized with the adoption of their Constitution and Charter on November 27, 1937 in accordance with the IRA. These lands, along with the original Bay Mills Mission and a small area on Sugar Island, comprise the majority of the current reservation land holdings in Chippewa County. 
Land Area: 4.793 square miles (12.41 km2) – 3.761 square miles (9.74 km2), lies northwest of Brimley, Michigan, in the eastern parts of Bay Mills Township and Superior Township, while the remaining 1.032 square miles (2.674 km² or 660.67 acres), lies on Sugar Island in the St. Marys River.

The Tribe has also obtained additional land in the last few years, increasing the land base to approximately 3,494 acres (5.46 sq mi; 14.14 km²), of which 3,109 acres (4.86 sq mi; 12.58 km²) are in trust.
Tribal Headquarters:  Brimley, Michigan
Time Zone:  Eastern

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

 812 as of the 2000 Census,  approximately 1,309 registered members as of the 2010 Census,  2,057 according to the official tribal website (no date given).

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Must be a descendant of a Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Indian who is named on the Durant Roll of 1910 and not enrolled in any other Indian tribe.

Genealogy Resources:


Charter:  1936 in accordance with the Indian Reorganization Act.
Name of Governing Body:  General Tribal Council, which consists of all adult members of the tribe who are over 18. Daily decisions are made by the Executive Council.
Number of Council members:   1,076
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  President, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, councilman.

Elections: Held every two years. 

Language Classification: Algic -> Algonquian -> Ojibwe–Potawatomi -> Ojibwe

This is the the fourth most widely spoken native American  language in the United States behind  Navajo, Inuit and Cree.

Language Dialect: Western Ojibwe (Saulteaux)

Number of fluent Speakers:



Buy this Bay Mills Indian Community T-shirt
Bay Mills Indian Community T-shirt
Bands, Gens, and Clans

Social Organization:

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:


Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:






Economy Today: The tribe operates the Bay Mills Resort & Casino.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs

Education and Media:

Tribal College:  Bay Mills Community College is an accredited tribal college operated by the community.

Ojibwe / Chippewa People of Note

Renae Morriseau 

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History: 

In the News:

Further Reading:

The Place of the Pike (Gnoozhekaaning): A History of the Bay Mills Indian Community
History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan