Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians


Last Updated: 1 year

On Sept. 21, 1994, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB) was federally reaffirmed under Public Law 103-324, signed into law by President Clinton.

There were three (3) main groups who worked together to unite the Ottawa people politically, to make the US Government aware of their treaty agreements. They were: Michigan Indian Defense Association of 1933, The Michigan Indian Foundation 1947 and the Northern Michigan Ottawa Association (NMOA) in 1948. 

The Little Traverse Bay Bands was originally known at the NMOA, Unit 1. Unit 1 began to file for Ottawa fishing rights (1980’s) in the Federal courts. The Federal Courts would not recognize NMOA Unit 1, because they were an organization.

The tribe reorganized and took the name Little Traverse Bay Bands (Nov. 29, 1982). Again the Federal Court would not allow the tribe their rights, this time because they were not a Federally recognized tribe. The Little Traverse Bay Bands did not want to be Federally recognized under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, instead, they went for Reaffirmation by the Federal Government because of the treaties. On Sep. 21, 1994, President Clinton signed the bill that gave the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Federal recognition through Reaffirmation.

Official Tribal Name: Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Address: Government Center, 7500 Odawa Circle, Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Phone: 231-242-1400 or Toll Free 1-866-652-5822

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

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Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings:  Chipewa, Chipawa, Anishinaabe, Anishinababe, Anishinabeg, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, Algonquin,  More names for Ojibwe

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Region: Northeast (Eastern Woodland) –> Ojibwa, Chippewa and Potawatomi

State(s) Today: Michigan

Traditional Territory:
The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians or Ottawa people have been in this geographical area of Michigan long before the Europeans arrived here on Turtle Island, known as Canada, North and South America. The Odawa were a migratory people, traveling from the Upper Peninsula and the northern area tip of Michigan in the fall, to the southern part of Michigan, where the climate was more hospitable during the winter months.

Confederacy: Odawak


After the 1836 and 1855 Treaties were signed, the benefits the U.S. Government promised the Tribes, did not materialize. The Ottawa’s from this area began to organize to sue the US Government to try and recover monies agreed upon from the government.

Reservation: Little Traverse Bay Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land
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Tribal Headquarters: Harbor Springs, MI
Time Zone: Eastern

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Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Forest County Potawatomi
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Hannaville Indian Community
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
La Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac de Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Potawatomi
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Saginaw Chippewa Indians
Sokaogon Chippewa Community
St. Croix Chippewa Indians
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

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Modern Day Events & Tourism:
Annual Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow (2nd weekend in August), Harbor Springs, MI (24th annual in 2015)

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In the spring, the Odawa people returned to their homelands to collect maple syrup, fish and plant crops. When they weren’t tending their gardens or doing their day-to-day chores, they gathered fruits, herbs, medicines, as well as any other food products they could dry and put away to be used during the long winter months.

After the Europeans came and settled in what is known as Escanaba, NocBay, Mackinac, Cross Village, Good Hart, Middle Village, Harbor Springs, Petoskey and the Bay Shore Area, the Odawa ceased to migrate to the southern areas of the state. This was due to the new immigrants or early settlers, who brought with them new food staples and work, which the tribal people took advantage of. Permanent housing, schools and churches were then established and the Native people went to work for the settlers or began their own businesses to make their living.

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Third native american tribe ok’s same sex marriage


Odawa People of Note:

Renae Morriseau

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Tribe History:

Ottawa Indians: The 1836 Manistee Reservation Era (1821-1836)
Ottawa Indians: The 1855 -1870 Reservation Era
Ottawa Indians: Dispossession and Dissolution Era (1870-1890)
Ottawa Indians: The Restoration Era (1889 – 1994)
Odawa Timeline

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