Otter Tail Band of Chippewa Indians
Historically, the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas have lived in the Otter Tail Lake region of Minnesota, since at least the early 16th century. Prophecy played an important role in their daily affairs. They combated the Dakota People who may have lived in that region before them. Dakota People did not cooperate with the prophecy weary Chippewas and eagerly formed an alliance with both the English and French who supplied them with guns. Those guns were why the Dakota People were capable of preventing the Chippewas from completely subjugating them. After the whites reached treaty agreements with the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas, who are really the Pillager Chippewas and Pembina Chippewas, land cessions followed and a large Reservation was set aside for both the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas and Gull Lake Chippewas.
White historians are not being honest about those two Reservations. They were really Chippewa Reservations. Below is a map of the Otter Tail Lake Chippewa Reservation and the Gull Lake Chippewa Reservation. The Otter Tail Lake Chippewa Reservation has the number 269, while the Gull Lake Chippewa Reservation has the number 268. After the United States broke treaty promises, a new Gull Lake Chippewa Reservation was created. You'll notice it borders the old Gull Lake Reservation on the north. The Chippewa Otter Tail Lake Reservation has never been resolved. According to white historians, no Indians either lived or relocated to the Otter Tail Lake Chippewa Reservation. However, it is well known that the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas were living around Otter Tail Lake well into the 1870s.Look at the map carefully. Otter Tail Lake is within the northwestern part of the Otter Tail Lake Chippewa Reservation.
October 18, 1848: Treaty is signed between the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas who are also known as the Menominee. It established a large Reservation for them which was adjacent to the Gull Lake Chippewa Reservation which was created on October 13, 1846. Otter Tail Lake is located within the northwest side of the old Reservation.
May 12, 1854: A treaty was supposedly signed by Otter Tail Lake Chippewa leaders which created a Reservation for them in Wisconsin. Today, it is known as theMenominee Reservation of Wisconsin. The United States probably promised the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas the Wisconsin Reservation to prevent them from migrating west. They kept their promise.
February 11, 1856: A portion of the Otter Tail Lake Chippewa Wisconsin Reservation was set aside for the Stockbridge Chippewas and Munsee.
1862: These Chippewas participated in the 1862 Minnesota Indian War. They were probably led by chief Hole in the Day. They continued to honor the treaty which established their Reservation in 1848.
March 19, 1867: A treaty is signed which added land to the Leech Lake Reservation created on May 7, 1864. Today, it is known as White Earth Reservation. Many of the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas relocated to White Earth Reservation.
February 7, 1872: F.A. Walker wrote a letter to the Department of the Interior in which he estimated that 375 Otter Tail Lake Pillager Chippewas continued to live in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. According to Walker, the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas refused to relocate to White Earth Reservation. Walker requested from the Department of the Interior, for $51,000 to provide necessities to Leech Lake Reservation, Red Lake Reservation, and White Earth Reservation. A steamboat for Leech Lake, a mill for White Earth, a road for Red Lake, money for agency buildings, and money for logs at the mill. However, the bulk of the money ($20,000) was for removing the Otter Tail Lake Pillager Chippewas out of Otter Tail County. Indians and whites were yet fighting each other then, in Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
1906: It was reported that the Otter Tail Lake Chippewas made up 726 of White Earth Reservations population of 5,122. They never ceded the Reservation created for them on October 18, 1848. These Pillager Chippewas, always lived around the Otter Tail Lake region. So did many Little Shell Pembina Chippewas.
Otter Tail Lake Chippewas are a mixture of Minnesota Chippewas and Chippewas from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Many originally lived within the 5 million acre Chippewa Reservation located primarily in Iowa. The Otter Tail Lake Chippewas are really a group of Pillager and Little Shell Pembina Chippewas. They are more closely related to the Chippewas of Leech Lake Reservation. Wahpeton, North Dakota and Red River, are 40 miles to the west. Chief Sitting Bull told the whites he was born and raised among the Red River Chippewas (the Metis). That location is very near Otter Tail Lake.
Leech Lake Reservation of Minnesota
Menominee Reservation of Wisconsin
Otter Tail Lake Chippewa Reservation of Minnesota created on October 18, 1848, that was never ceded
White Earth Reservation of Minnesota
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
October 18, 1848 Treaty
May 12, 1854 Treaty
February 11, 1856 Treaty
March 19, 1867 Treaty
- Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
- Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
- Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
- Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
- Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
- Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
- Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published