Bois Forte Indian Reservation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Bois Forte Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation formed for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (or Zagaakwaandagowininiwag (Men of the Thick Woods) in the Ojibwe language).


The reservation is composed of three sections in northern Minnesota, United States:

  • The smallest section is the Lake Vermilion Indian Reservation (Ojibwe: Onamanii-zaaga'iganiing, "At the Lake with Red ochre"). It consists of 1.623 sq mi (4.205 km², or 1,039 acres) of land at 47°49′11″N 92°20′07″W / 47.81972°N 92.33528°W / 47.81972; -92.33528 in southeastern Greenwood Township on Lake Vermilion just west of the city of Tower in St. Louis County. Set aside by executive order, originally for the Lake Vermilion Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, today this reservation is one of the most accessible reservations for the Band. Consequently, the band operates Fortune Bay Resort Casino, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay golf course, and the Atisokanigamig (Legend House) Heritage Center out of this reservation.

There are additional scattered parcels less than 40 acres (16 ha) in size associated with the reservation. The reservation's total land area is 199.605 sq mi (516.974 km²).


As of the 2000 census,[1] the reservation had a total population of 657; the Nett Lake section had 328, the Itasca County section had 157, and the Lake Vermilion section had 172. The Bois Forte Indian Reservation is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, who in July 2007, reported 3,052 people enrolled through Bois Forte.


The community first entered into a treaty with the United States in 1854 that set aside an undefined region around Lake Vermilion as a reservation. The regions at Nett Lake and Itasca County were officially established in an 1866 treaty, and the Lake Vermilion lands were defined in an 1881 executive order. Following the Nelson Act of 1898, the lands were surveyed and subdivided, but the U.S. federal government did not force tribe members to move to the White Earth Indian Reservation.

50% of the reservation is wetland, and the 7,300 acre (30 km²) Nett Lake is said to be the largest producer of wild rice in the United States.


  1. ^ "Bois Forte Reservation, Minnesota". United States Census Bureau. 2000. 

External links[edit]