Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Mailing Address

43408 Oodena Drive
Onamia, MN 56359

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe was said to have first settled in the Atlantic Coast of the Northern part of America. This was according to an oral tradition which has been handed down from generation to generation. According to the elders, the tribe has started to migrate to the western part of the United States for not less than five hundred years now. It was in the middle of the seventeenth century when the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians finally found a settling place in the area around the Mille Lacs Lake. The areas which they have occupied before are now known as the Central Minnesota. The tribe has lived in the area through their skills in hunting deer, bears, moose and several other water fowls. The tribe had also mastered the art of fishing in the nearby lakes and the streams, and they have since then gathered wild rice as a form of commodity. Part of the tribal diet was also the maple sugar, berries and the tribe also knew how to cultivate plants for medicinal, clothing and housing purposes.
The tribe, despite their strive for survival was still outshone by the Europeans who had intense power, more men and more sophisticated equipments meant for fighting those who will go against their ways. The intruders took over the tribal lands, and the tribe was then left in a state of confusion. They had their land, yet they had other people with them who were not even part of their community. The European settlers took over the tribal lands, leaving the tribe with lesser land than they should have owned. The tribal resources were also put at stake as they were left with nothing but violated treaties and forced agreements. 
The epidemics that were introduced reduced the tribal numbers as well as the absurd federal policies. By the late nineteenth century, the original number of the tribe has been lost and only a few hundred members of the tribal people were left. Aside from the ceding of the lands, the tribal religion was also banned, splurging the rage of the tribal members. Aside from the religion, the culture, traditional way of life and the language of the tribe were also forbidden. The tribe was almost left with nothing to bring forth to their future generation. Their rights were taken as well as their heritage. The tribe, since then, has strived hard to fight the poverty which was being thrown to them as well as despair that came hand in hand with the predicament.
By the 1990's the tribe has then slowly emerged in the society as one of the surviving tribes in terms of economic development. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe opened the Grand Casino Mille Lacs and the Grand Casino Hinckley. These casinos have since then added to the economic growth of the tribe. The revenues have proved to be useful and have allowed the tribe to support themselves fairly well.

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