Tribe sues for jurisdiction of NW MI land

A map showing the area of northwestern Michigan that the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians are suing to have jurisdiction over. (Aug. 24, 2015)

CHARLEVOIX, Mich. (WOOD) — A Native American tribe is suing Gov. Rick Snyder for jurisdiction over a stretch of land in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

A lawsuit was filed in federal court Friday on behalf of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.

The land in question stretches about 32 miles along Lake Michigan in Charlevoix and Emmet counties and includes parts of the city of Charlevoix and Petoskey.

The tribe says U.S. promised full jurisdiction of the land in an 1855 treaty, and it wants that agreement reaffirmed.

The suit says there is currently duplication of services from the state and tribe, and confusion as to who should take the lead in certain situations, including those dealing with tribe children and elders.

The lawyer for the tribe said the effect for the tribe will be great, but non-tribe citizens probably won’t notice a change.

“It’s about jurisdiction and government. It’s not about land ownership,” attorney Jessica Intermill of the Hogen Adams law firm in St. Paul, Minnesota told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone on Sunday. “So anyone who owns land in the area now, there is no way that this suit can effect that. We said it’s just about who does that various governmental services.”

>>Inside The lawsuit (PDF)



Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians

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