Indians of Michigan

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 03:38, 11 February 2009 by Jbparker (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

The name Michigan come from a Chippewan Indian word "Michigana" meaning "great or large lake"

Tribes and Bands of Michigan

The following list of tribes is compiled from:

  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico.  Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907.
  • Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin #145

Chippewa, Croix Band of Chippewa, Delaware, East Saginaw, Foxes, Huron, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, Neutrals, Noquet, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Sauk, Winnebago, Wyandot

Bands: Saginaw - Chippewa, Keweenaw Bay, L'Anse, Ontonagon, Lac Vieux Desert, Lax Vieux, Deseret Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa


As identified in the National Atlas of the United States of America, the following reservation names in bold are current federally-recognized reservations. Others are state reservations or are those historically associated with Michigan.

  • Bay Mills Reservation: Federal, under jurisdiction of Michigan Agency, Tribe: Chippewa
  • Chippewa Reservation:
  • Grand Traverse Reservation:  State, under jurisdiction of Michigan Agency, Tribe:
  • Hannahville Community:  Federal, under jurisdiction of Michigan Agency, Tribe: Potawatomi
  • Huron Potawatomi Reservation
  • Isabella (Saginaw) Reservation: Federal, under jurisdiction of Michigan Agency, Tribe: Saginaw Chippewa
  • L'Anse (Keweenaw Bay) Reservation: Federal, under jurisdiction of Michigan Agency, Tribe: Lake Supior Band Chippeewa
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands Reservation
  • Michigan Reservation: 1837-1848
  • Ontonagon Reservation: 1854
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
  • Sault Ste. Marie Reservation:  State, under jurisdiction of Michigan Agency, Tribe:


Isaacs, Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer oft he United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E. Indian Reservations. Omnigraphices. Inc., 1991.

Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Agencies were created as an administrative division of the federal government to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value were created by these offices.

  • Mackinac Agency 1828-1880
  • Michigan Agency, Federal Square Office Plaza, P.O. Box 884, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
  • Saginaw Subagency
  • Sault Ste. Marie Agency1824-1852


Hill, Edward E., The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc., 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 G551o.) 

Indian Schools

The Office of Indian Affairs (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) established a network of schools throughout the United States, beginning with Carlisle Indian School, established in 1879. Some of these schools were day schools, usually focusing on Indian children of a single tribe or reservation. Some were boarding schools which served Indian children from a number of tribes and reservations.

In addition, other groups such as various church denominations established schools specifically focusing on American Indian children. (read more...)

Family History Library

Michigan Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1814-1851. (On 71 films Family History Library starting with 1604649.)

Northern Superintendency 1851-1876. M1166. (On 35 Family History Library films starting with 1490921.)

See Also

Michigan History -- for a calendar giving important dates pertaining to Indians

Michigan Military -- for a list of forts