Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

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Cultural History

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians comes from the big family of Ottawa Indians. These people are the ones who originally lived along the Ottawa River located in the eastern Ontario and that of the Western Quebec during the European arrival in the sixteenth century. The tribe has since then moved to the northern Ohio area in the year 1740. The Band is a part of the Algonquian Indians who are somewhat in relation with the Delaware Indians, those of the Miami Indians and the Shawnee Indians. The Band and the whole of the tribe were subject to animosities to the Iroquois Indians. They, then has never really trusted the Wyandot Indians who were related to the Iroquois.

The Band's life was generally simple. They thrived on hunting, fishing and gathering resources. They are the descendants of the Little River Ottawa who settled on the banks of the Manistee River, the Pere Marquette River and the other communities which were located on the Grand River System in Michigan. The historic circumstances that they have encountered resulted in the Grand River Ottawa people to have become more popularly known as the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. They have gained a federally recognized tribal status in the year 1994. The tribe has been considered to have a "tribal status" but it had to be reaffirmed by the United States Federal Government in the said year. These people have become less vulnerable to the influences of the West, like how they were years and years before. The tribe was given their sovereignty and their by-laws and constitution were likewise ratified upon their reaffirmation with the federal government.

The tribal ancestors were the ones who signed treaties with the government and ensured the tribal status of the Band. The said ancestors have signed the treaties for the protection of the tribal lands and territories. They were engaged in four treaties tow of which are the 1836 Treaty of Washington and the 1855 Treaty of Detroit which were the basis for the establishment of the land reservations. The other two were follow ups and did not make such an impact as the first two. The tribal territories are stated in the Article I of the Tribal Constitution fully approve by the Congress.

It was after the reaffirmation of the tribe that they began to reassess their economic status and decide that they would have to become self sufficient. They then decided to establish business ventures that would spell out economic growth for them. It was in the year 1999 when they first ventured into their casino business known as the Little River Casino Resort. The Casino was opened with six hundred slot machines and has now expanded to one thousand three hundred. There are also twenty eight table games, a poker room, three restaurants and two hundred ninety room of luxury hotel. Truly, the tribe has gained much success from the revenues generated by the business.

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