Nighttime on the Grand Portage Reservation in Minnesota. Photo: Jason Carpenter
Environment | Trust

Grand Portage Band celebrates trust status for 145-acre island at Lake Superior

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is celebrating a historic achievement.

In 2016, the tribe acquired the 145-acre Susie Island in Lake Superior. The land has now been placed in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“It’s preserved for the Band and the people here,” Chairman Norman Deschampe told WTIP. “Our people go out there fishing and gathering.”

According to Minnesota Public Radio News, the 13 islands that make up the Susie Islands were left out of the 1854 treaty signed by the Grand Portage Band and the United States. But in 1982, the BIA issued a proclamation which declared the land to be a part of the tribe's reservation.

Since then, the tribe has worked with the Nature Conservancy to acquire the 13 islands, which had fallen into private ownership. The largest, the one that has been placed in trust, is known as Susie Island. The area is near the Canadian border.

Read More on the Story:
Susie Island returned to Grand Portage Band (WTIP September 21, 2017)
Lake Superior island returned to Grand Portage tribe (Minnesota Public Radio News September 21, 2017)
North Shore island returned to Chippewa band. The Nature Conservancy had owned it. (The St. Paul Pioneer Press September 19, 2017)
Susie Island transferred to Grand Portage Band (The Bemidji Pioneer September 19, 2017)