Land along local lake reverts back to Saginaw tribe - WNEM TV 5

Land along local lake reverts back to Saginaw tribe

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EAST TAWAS, MI (WNEM) -

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has re-acquired 902 acres of land that includes a little over a mile of lake frontage.

The acquisition was finalized on Aug. 25, granting ownership of hundreds of acres of land back to the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe. The land is located on Tawas Lake in East Tawas, MI.

This purchase is culturally significant as it reclaims land that was once part of ceded and treaty territories. The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe will utilize the land to hunt, gather, and honor their ancestral teaching.

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to regain possession of a portion of our aboriginal lands,” said Tribal Chief Frank Cloutier. “We will begin the work to re-establish our presence by developing cultural and traditional programming that will enhance our Tribal community and its people. This is an incredible opportunity for the Tribe to share its rich culture and traditional values while providing a place to reconnect with Mother Earth.”

In a press release, the tribe said it has a responsibility to stay connected with the land and resources because they are direct descendants of those who once lived there. They plan to use the land to teach on a practical and spiritual level.

“The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan are the people who can step outside their doors onto the earth and say, ‘My people have always been here. I walk where my ancestors walk walked one thousand years ago,’” said former Bonnie Ekdahl, the Tribal Elder and former Director of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinable Culture & Culture. “Access to this land will give us the freedom to reconnect with the seasonal calendar without fear of judgement and interruption. The people can learn and reconnect to the memories that still live here.”

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