Cheboiganing-Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians has a pending federal lawsuit decision in Washington, D.C.
Burt Lake Band never claimed ancestral land ownership after the 1836 Treaty of Washington or 1844 Treaty of Detroit — though 1,000 acres at Indian (Colonial) Point on Lake Cheboiganing was provided in the 1836 Treaty. Burt Township’s 35N and 36N at Indian Point was allocated in the 1855 Treaty. Cheboiganing-Burt Lake Band never claimed land ownership or reservation.
Cheboiganing Band didn’t trust government and their treaties, so they used federal payments for ancestral land at Indian Point to buy six land parcels “in Trust to the Governor of Michigan” in perpetuity. William Richmond, federal Indian agent in Michigan and former General Land Office clerk, and Gov. John Barry undertook this during 1848-1850.
The pair protected Indian Point from alienation because of taxes or debt. It worked in 1848 for the Potawatomi, which now resides on “In Trust” land. Why didn’t it work for the Cheboiganing Band when they were illegally “burned out” of Indian Point in October 1900?
The Walk of Remembrance is Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at Burt Lake Band cemetery along Maple Bay. The small cemetery is all that’s left of their ancestral land.
Richard A. Wiles