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Woollam Nature Preserve in Harbor Springs
Charles Dawley / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some of Northern Michigan's top vacation destinations are at the heart of a lawsuit filed by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

The tribe argues that a treaty signed in 1855 set the boundaries of a reservation that would cover 337 square miles in what is now Emmet and Charlevoix Counties. That would include popular vacation spots like Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and parts of Charlevoix.

The barge in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

 


This week, the U.S. Supreme Court released a decision that could strengthen the fishing rights of Native American tribes across the nation. It could even give tribes in the Great Lakes region a legal framework to shut down Enbridge's Line 5 pipelines.

Sarah Bird

 

"When can we eat the fish?”

That’s what the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wants to know.

 

Officials in Michigan issue fish advisories. Those recommend limits on how much fish we eat because of toxic chemicals that can build up in fish.

 

Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes are at greater risk because they eat a lot of fish.

 

For years, there was a focus on trying to get tribes to follow the advisories more closely. But some people argue that’s the wrong way to tackle the problem.

 

A small fish is held in a net.
Sarah Bird

 


If you eat wild caught fish from Michigan, you might know about fish consumption advisories. They’re recommended limits on safe amounts of fish to eat, and they're necessary because toxic chemicals build up in fish in the Great Lakes and inland lakes and streams.

Anishinaabemowin teacher Chris Gordon with his students at the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe School in Sault Ste. Marie.
Credit Rick Smith / Win Awenen Nisitotung

Language is an essential part of preserving the ancient ties to heritage and culture. And with the native language of the Ojibwe people starting to fade, Chris Gordon has made the preservation of his family's language part of his life's mission. 

Gordon is the first teacher in the state of Michigan to get a K-12 Foreign Language-Native teaching endorsement. He teaches Anishinaabemowin (pronounced a-NISH NAH-BEM-when), the native language of the Ojibwe people, at the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe School in Sault Ste. Marie.

Emily Fox

Native American culture has been struggling to survive for more than a century. For a Potawatomi tribe in the Upper Peninsula, tribal culture almost vanished around the 1940s. But for the past four decades, there have been efforts to bring tribal culture back.


Jack Abramoff testifying at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee Hearing
U.S. Senate

Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who bilked millions from several Indian tribes including Michigan's Saginaw Chippewas, has officially been released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Associated Press reports Abramoff spent the last several months of his four-year prison sentence on home confinement with an electronic monitoring bracelet. The halfway house he was assigned to set Abramoff up with a job at a kosher pizzeria in Baltimore.

The AP reports that Abramoff worked at Tov Pizza, "a modest kosher pizzeria in a heavily Jewish section of northwest Baltimore. Abramoff, 51, is an Orthodox Jew and wore a yarmulke to work."