Law | Federal Recognition

Mackinac Tribe files suit against DOI to gain federal recognition





The Mackinac Tribe of Michigan is suing the Obama administration in hopes of gaining federal recognition.

The tribe's Ojibwe and Odawa ancestors signed a series of treaties between 1783 and 1855. But the Mackinac Bands have never been recognized as a tribe despite being identified as a distinct community by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as recently as 1926.

In 2011, the Mackinac Bands asked the Interior Department to conduct a secretarial election in order for them to organize as a tribe under the Indian Reorganization Act. The lawsuit claims Secretary Sally Jewell has failed to act on the request.

At least one Mackinac group, the Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians, has filed a petition with the BIA for federal recognition. Some Mackinac descendants are members of, or are eligible for membership, in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Turtle Talk posted the complaint in the case, Mackinac Tribe v. Jewell.

Get the Story:
U.P. tribe sues for recognition by feds (The Escanaba Daily Press 4/7)

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