Bois forte Band of Ojibwe

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 16
5344 Lakeshore Drive
Nett Lake, MN 55772

Contact Information




Cultural History

Bois Forte literally means "strong wood". The name is of French origin. It is most likely the description of the tribe. The tribe is strong and determined community who used to thrive in the dense forests of what is now more popularly known as the extreme northern Minnesota. Their reservation lies in the extreme north Minnesota which is approximately 45 miles in the south of the Canadian border. Their reservation has three major divisions namely the Nett Lake, Vermillion and the Deer Creek. Nett Lake is the largest region located in St. Louis. The region is also said to be the largest producer of wild rice in the whole of the United States. 50% of their land is wetland which is said to be the reason behind the large production of wild rice. It is also the homeland of most of the Bois Forte band members and it is also where the Band’s primary government offices are located.
On the other hand, in the Lake Vermillion near Tower in St. Louis County, the Vermillion region can be found. It is where the rest of the other Band members have settled. It is also where the Fortune Bay Resort and Casino is located. The Deer Creek is situated in the Itasca County. Of the three divisions of the reservation, this one is the only non-inhabited division.
The Bois forte Band of Ojibwe has been in Minnesota for centuries but was not originally from the place. Instead they have traveled all the way from the east coast to St. Lawrence River and then the Great Lakes area. 

In 1866, the Nett Lake, Itasca County and the Deer Creek were officially established under a treaty with the United States government. In an 1881 executive order, the Vermillion lands were defined and in 1997, the full responsibility of the regions was left in the hands of their own Tribal Council. Their government is divided into several areas, each with its own responsibility.

Their current Tribal Chair is Mr. Kevin Leecy, their Secretary Treasurer is David Morrison, Sr., Ray Villeburn is their Distric I Representative, and Ray Toutloff is the Distric II Representative.

Since then, they have ventured in several businesses and enjoyed revenues. They now have several businesses like the Fortune Bay Resort Casino, the Wilderness Golf Course, the WELY- End of the Road Radio, the Powerain Manufacturing Incorporated, the Y-Store and the Bois Forte Wild Rice.
Despite the obvious loss in the wilderness, the lack of animals, the increase in the population, the Bois Forte people have stood strong and now are confident with their stable economy. 

They have several; events coming up this June including the Vermillion Pow-Wow on the 20th of June up to the 22nd.

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