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Law | Trust
BIA declares reservation for Michigan tribe


The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, finally has a reservation in Michigan.

The tribe's 147 acres were officially proclaimed a reservation by assistant secretary Larry EchoHawk. "The land is for the exclusive use of Indians on the reservation who are entitled to reside at the reservation by enrollment or tribal membership. These properties will provide opportunities for economic development, self-determination and self-sufficiency," the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs said in a press release.

The reservation was the subject of a protracted legal battle over the BIA's May 13, 2005, decision to approve the tribe's land-into-trust application. The case, Michigan Gambling Opposition v. Kempthorne nearly went to the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year

The justices, in a different land-into-trust case, subsequently ruled in February that tribes that weren't "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934 could not follow the land-into-trust process. The Gun Lake Tribe didn't gain formal recognition until 1999.

The BIA had already acquired the land for the tribe by the time of the Supreme Court ruling.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Echo Hawk Issues Reservation Proclamation for the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan, aka, Gun Lake Tribe (DOI 8/17)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court rules in big land-into-trust case (2/25)
BIA finally puts Gun Lake casino site in trust (1/30)