Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan
Ed Pigeon, Tribal Vice-Chairman and cultural/language coordinator, and baby
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Michigan)|
|traditional tribal religion, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Three Fires Council (Odawa, Ojibwe, and other Potawatomi tribes)|
The Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan is a federally recognized tribe of Potawatomi people in Michigan. They were formerly known as the Gun Lake Band of Grand River Ottawa Indians, the United Nation of Chippewa, Ottawa and Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, Inc., the Gun Lake Tribe or Gun Lake Band. They are headquartered in Dorr, Michigan.
As of 2009, the tribe's enrollment is open only to babies born to current tribal members. The tribe says they are "a body of mixed-blood Chippewa, Ottawa, and Pottawatomi" who trace their descent from principal chief, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish. He was provided a reserve near Kalamazoo, Michigan in an 1821 Treaty.
The tribe was recognized by the US federal government in 1998. The current tribal council is as follows:
- David K. Sprague, Chairperson
- Ed Pigeon, Vice-Chair
- Scott Sprague, Secretary
- Kurt Trevan, Treasurer
- Bob Peters, Bradley District Councilperson
- Phyllis Davis, At-Large Councilperson
- Leah Fodor, Bradley District Councilperson
The primary tribal enterprise is the Gun Lake Casino. The first phase was built in 2009 on part of the 147 acres in Allegan County, Michigan that the tribe was given in January 2009 as a land base by the federal government. It generated 750 jobs during construction. The tribe estimated that it would attract 60,000 guests annually to area hotels. The tribe did not plan to build and operate a hotel. Further, they estimated the enterprise would bring 600 casino jobs.
The tribe publishes a newspaper, called The Tribal Tribune. They provide cultural workshops on traditional practices, such as cradle fire from flint, tapping and processing maple sugar, creating basswood and hemp dogbane cordage, snowsnakes or zhoshke'nayabo, and black ash basketry, a traditional art form among Michigan tribes.
The Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Pottawatomi are working with the Pokagon Band and Nottawaseppi Huron Band on a language program, Ggitike’men Ode Zheshmowen (We Grow the Language). Each tribe offers weekly language classes. The Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band's classes are taught by Ed Pigeon and Kevin Finney and are held every Monday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Luella Collins Community Center in Shelbyville, Michigan.
- Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish, 18th- and 19th-century Ojibwe chief
- Petition for Federal Acknowledgment of Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, William L. Church, May 16, 1994.
- "Tribal Council." Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi. (retrieved 18 Dec 2009)
- "Member Services." Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi. (retrieved 18 Dec 2009)
- "CBO - S. 1603". Congressional Budget Office. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Cox, Ramsey (19 June 2014). "Senate passes land trust bill for Pottawatomi Indians". The Hill. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting and hearing". Indianz.com. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Ground broken on casino that Station will manage, Las Vegas Sun, Amanda Finnegan, Sept. 18, 2009
- "Language/Culture." Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi. (retrieved 18 Dec 2009)
- Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi, official website
- Potawatomi language materials provided by the tribe
- Gun Lake Casino website
- Native Americans in Michigan Databases, Mainly Michigan website, includes "Durant Roll of 1908" and "Mt. Pleasant Indian School Register (1893 to 1932)"