Where Did Michigan’s First People Live?

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The First People entered the area we call Michigan over 10,000 years ago. They hunted and fished for thousands of years. Yet the environment showed little impact from their lives here.

When the Europeans arrived around 1620, Woodland peoples of the Algonquian language groups lived on this land that would become Michigan. This chart lists the tribes and their approximate Michigan locations.

Menominee   South central Upper Peninsula (near present Menominee River and Green Bay)
Chippewa

(Ojibwa)

  Eastern Upper Peninsula
Ottawa   Eastern Upper Peninsula, Canada
Potawatomi   Western lower Michigan
Mascowten   Western and central southern lower Michigan
Sauk   Eastern central lower Michigan, near Saginaw Bay
Fox   Eastern lower Michigan, near Lake Huron
Kickapoo   Southeastern corner of lower Michigan
Miami   Southwestern corner of lower Michigan