Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

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Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) is one of 566 federally recognized tribes in the United States of America.[1] On September 21, 1994 the tribal status of LRBOI (along with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians) was reaffirmed by the federal government when President Bill Clinton signed Senate Bill 1357 into law.[2] All contemporary members of LRBOI are descendants of the nine Villages or Bands of the original Grand River Bands that inhabited Manistee and Mason Counties of Michigan after the 1855 Treaty of Detroit, the Bands' last treaty with the U.S. government. This tribe of Ottawa Indians is headquartered on its 1836 Manistee Reservation in Manistee County with additional tribal land in Custer and Eden Townships in Mason County. Since January 1994 LRBOI has published a monthly newspaper,Currents with .pdf versions available on the official tribal website.

The Tribe's original language is Anishinaabemowin, an Algonquian language. Some elders and members can still speak the full language but the Tribe is spread out far beyond their reservation and the language is not in common usage.

On December 3, 1998 Governor John Engler signed a compact between the LRBOI and the State of Michigan allowing gaming on reservation property. In 1999 the tribe opened the Little River Casino and Resort on the Manistee Reservation. Since its opening the resort has expanded in multiple stages to over 23,000 square feet of space which includes a 292-room luxury hotel, a 1,700 seat event center and an expanding collection of slots and table games. The Little River Band was found to have violated the National Labor Relations Act with respect to its casino operations.[3]

Tribal government[edit]

The tribe is governed by a tripartite constitutional government headed by an elected nine-member council and an elected Ogema (Chief).There is a separate but equal elected Judicial branch.[4] The government has 28 different departments dealing with various programs and processes necessary to running a modern government.

In 2014, the Tribal Court, under Michael Petoskey, was found to have violated federal Indian law and the Indian Civil Rights Act in the prosecution of a member of the Tribal Council. [5] A Writ of Habeas Corpus, a rare event in criminal law, was granted against the Tribal Court.

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