Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 550
Red Lake, MN 56671

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians is said to be the only Chippewa Band in the Minnesota State which is not, in any way, affiliated with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe is the umbrella governmental organization which was established under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The tribe's independence amidst the other Chippewa Bands is to be related back to the time of the consolidation as well as the removal. The tribe's lifestyle today, hence, is deeply rooted to the philosophy of the Red Lake Members. The tribe is actually part of the Algonquian family of the aboriginal North Americans. The term "Anishinabe" also known as "first man" is the Ojibwe term for "the people". The tribe originally originated on the Atlantic Coast until they decided to migrate to the west to the Shores of the Lake Superior. Their first contact with the Europeans happened in the year 1612 when their main village was still on the island of La Pointe. The Island of La Pointe provided them with the natural resources and protection from the other bands of the Sioux war parties. Their drastic move to the Sioux buffalo hunting grounds, on the other hand, resulted in several clashes with the other tribes. The Chippewa started their march against the Sioux in the Central and the Northern Minnesota. After more than two decades, the Sioux finally withdrew from the Red Lake area following a bloody encounter with the Chippewa who were near the mouth of the Sandy River. Since the eighteenth century, the Red Lake band has started occupying the areas located in the Northwestern Minnesota. The movement of the outsiders in the tribal territory started when David Thompson who was then a surveyor and a trader hailing for the Northwest Company of Montreal reached the Red Lake in the year 1798. Since then, other traders, explorers and missionaries have started moving in the tribal lands. The Red Lake Band was recognized to be the owner of the majority of the areas in the Northwestern portion of Minnesota. It was in the Treaty of 1863 when the lands of the Red Lake Band were first ceded.
On the 10th of March in 1902, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa's land was once again ceded. This time, the area that adjoined the Thief River and the Red River Valley also known as the Western Townships was ceded. Some other 256,132 acres of tribal land were sold in the same year. 
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians still lives on their ancestral lands in the Northern Minnesota. The area of their territory is up to 825, 842 acres. Their current reservation is located thirty five miles on the north of Bemidjii, Minnesota. It is said that an approximate of 6,000 members are living in the reservation while the total tribal enrollment is 9,800. The community is one o the leading Indian communities. They are currently engaged in nursing homes, education and hospitals. The Red Lake also has facilities such as the Red Lake Public Safety Department, Tribal Social Services, Red Lake Builders, Inc., and the Red Lake Housing Finance Corporation. The tribe also owns the Red Lake Gaming Enterprises, Inc. as well as an Indian Action Agency. They are the owners of three major casinos namely the Seven Clans Casino-Red Lake, the Seven Clans Casino-Warroad and the Seven Clans Casino-Thief River Falls.

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