Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

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Cultural History

It was in the sixteenth century when the Dakota Indians had established their communities in the areas of the Leech Lake. It was in the middle to the latter years of the seventeenth century when the Ojibwe bands settled into the said region. The first habitats of these Ojibwe bands were situated on the small islands located on the Leech Lake. On the other hand, the area located in the north central Minnesota served as the first home of the Mississippi and the Pillager Ojibwe Bands. It was in the year 1847 when the trreaties signed with the government and the state separated the tribal lands into pieces and took off most of the tribal territories. The south western sections of the tribal land were ceded, leaving the Mississippi and the Pillager bands to be relocated. These tribes were then moved from the Menominee and the Winnebago tribes. On the other hand, the residual land that was left to the Indians was likewise taken away by the treaties leaving the Indians with almost nothing to thrive in. It was in the year 1855 when the residual land was likewise ceded. This treaty, however, proved to also be an advantage because it paved way to the establishment of a reservation. The expansion of the treaty in the year 1864 resulted in the consolidation of the reservation in the area of the three lakes. The primary intention for the separation during that time was the movement of the other Ojibwe bands to the Leech Lake Area. In the year 1867, the Each Reservation was established, and it served as the place for all the other Ojibwe people. Despite the continuous cession of the lands, the treaties signed in the year 1873 and in 1874 added land to the present reservation area.
The constitution of the tribe has provisions about the governing body of the tribe. The tribe has its own Leech Lake Tribal Council which is the primary in charge of the tribal operations and welfare. The Tribal Council has offices located in the Cass Lake. It was in the 1990's when the Council contracted with the Bureau of Indian Affairs so as to operate programs under self-governance.
Since then, the tribe has established business enterprises. The tribe is an operator of a halfway house as well as an ambulance service. The tribe also has their burial service program which is facilitated by the Council. There is also an education system and facility located in the tribal reservation. The Bug-O-Nay-Ge- Shig tribal school is one of the primary educational centers in the tribal area. Aside from this, there is also a community college known as the Leech Lake Tribal College which started operating in the year 1990. The tribe has also maintained the Che-wa-ka-e-gon complex which is comprised of a service station, convenience store as well as that of a gift shop. They also own the Che-We Office Supply.

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