Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

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Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (or the Gete-gitigaaniwininiwag in the Anishinaabe language) is a band of the Lake Superior Chippewa, many of whom reside on the Lac Vieux Desert Indian Reservation, an Indian reservation located near Watersmeet, Michigan.

Early history[edit]

As the Ojibwe Nation divided into two and expand westward from Sault Ste. Marie region, the southern branch of Ojibwe came to the area now known as Lac Vieux Desert. The lake, known as Gete-gitigaani-zaaga'igan ("Lake of the old garden") in the Anishinaabe language is located near several major watershed boundaries, thus promoting an ideal travel/trade hub connecting major waterways and trails to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Wisconsin River.

The Band was a signatory to several treaties, including the Treaty of St. Peters of 1837, Treaty of La Pointe of 1842 and Treaty of La Pointe of 1854. The second La Pointe Treaty also established the Lac Vieux Desert Indian Reservation, known as Gete-gitigaaning in the Anishinaabe language.

Under the Indian Reorganization Act, the Lac Vieux Desert Band lost their independent federal recognition and was instead recognized as members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and resided in the Watersmeet area.

Independent federal recognition[edit]

Beginning in the 1960s for nearly 20 years, the Band worked towards independent federal recognition. On September 8, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the "Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Act" (H.R. 3697) that officially recognized the Band as a separate and distinct tribe apart from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

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