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Tribal Headquarters

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
7070 East Broadway
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Phone: 1.517.772.5700
Fax: 1.517.772.3508

History

In the 16th century, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe lived in Michigan and Ontario. According to Ojibway authors in the 19th century, a migration of Chippewa's from the west to the east commenced in the 17th century. Through outright force they drove back the Indian allies of the whites and the whites, to near the Atlantic Ocean. Then according to Ojibway author George Copway, the Chippewa's commenced to settle the land east of Lake Huron.

White historians have written that the Sac or Sauk, originally lived in southeastern Michigan and southern Ontario, in the 17th century, and were driven to the west by the Indian allies of the whites. However, Sac and Sauk, are obviously short for Saginaw. Mississauga is also another name meant to corrupt the Saginaw Chippewa's. The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe is also known as the Black River and Swan Creek Chippewa's.

They were constantly at war against the whites and their Indian allies throughout the 17th, 18th, and much of the 19th centuries. They also reacted to the Seven Fires Prophecy by gathering their people to commence diasporas to the west, north, and south. Primarily to the south and west.

Brief Timeline

1492:

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe probably lived throughout Michigan.

16th century:

Contact with the whites took place. Indian allies of the whites, were supplied with cannons and guns by the whites. Chippewa soldiers could dominate them using only bows and arrows. The one shot musket guns were no match.

17th century:

Wars between the Chippewa's against the whites and their Indian allies, commenced early in the 17th century and continued on for the entire century. Late in the 17th century, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe drove the Indian allies of the whites and whites, to near the Atlantic Ocean. Chippewa settlers colonized the land east of Lake Huron to north of Lake Ontario. They also colonized northwestern New York State. They also sent Chippewa settlers south to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and southern New York State.

18th century:

Saginaw Chippewa soldiers were fully capable of keeping the whites and their Indian allies confined to the east. However, by the 1760s, the whites were forcing their way into western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. It may have been at this time when Chippewa leaders commenced to follow prophecy and send their people to the west, north, and south. By the late 18th century, the whites were dominating the Chippewa's. It led to more diasporas. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe agreed to peace and land cessions commenced. So did greater diasporas.

19th century:

In 1811, the whites launched an invasion into Indiana which led to the War of 1812. The whites also launched an invasion into the Red River Valley of southern Manitoba at this time. After losing the War of 1812, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe began the process of negotiating with the whites. They knew from prophecy the whites could not be trusted. And white leaders even told the Chippewa's that the whites had evil intentions. A series of treaties were signed which ceded Chippewa land to the United States and Canada. Their fear of the whites was real and Chippewa leaders reacted by commencing diasporas.

1838-1839 Exodus & Mormons:

In the mid 1830s, Saginaw Chippewa leaders signed treaties with the United States. The whites were not honest about the treaty agreements. Once Chippewa leaders learned that the Reservations which were set aside for them would be eradicated after 5 years, they reacted. Chief Eshtonoquot ordered that the Saginaw Chippewa's of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania gather together in large numbers and commenced an exodus to Kansas and probably Oklahoma. In 1832, a large number of Chippewa's from southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, were set aside a 5 million acre Reservation in Iowa and Missouri. Many of the Saginaw Chippewa's from the Michigan and Ohio region, also settled down to live on that Reservation. Joseph Smith was already visiting the 5 million acre Chippewa Reservation in Iowa and Missouri, in the early 1830s. By 1838, Joseph Smith made the move to the Chippewa Reservation in Iowa and Missouri. He possibly participated in the 1838-1839 Chippewa Exodus. Many moved to eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Most fled to Mexico.

In 1839, the first arrived to Kansas. Just before their arrival, the Saginaw Chippewa's who left on the exodus may have made contact with the Cherokee who also commenced an exodus at this time, in Illinois. It is no coincidence. The Cherokee may have actually been a more southern Saginaw Chippewa people. The Cherokee settled south of the Saginaw in southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma. They also settled in western Missouri. The Saginaw settled the land from south of the Pembina Chippewa District in southeastern South Dakota adjacent to Iowa, to the central part of eastern Kansas. The Chippewa Reservation in Iowa and Missouri was only a few miles to the east of the Pembina Chippewa District.

Joseph Smith was forced to leave the 5 million acre Chippewa Reservation located in western Iowa and northwestern Missouri, after 1838. In 1836, the United States broke treaty promises and forcefully took that part of the 5 million acre Chippewa Reservation located in northwestern Missouri. It is called the Platte Purchase. Violence followed and probably led to Joseph Smith relocating to Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith tried to get a Reservation set aside for the Chippewa's in the Nauvoo region but the United States refused.

In 1846, the United States eradicated the 5 million acre Chippewa Reservation in Iowa and Missouri. It led to more Chippewa's fleeing to Mexico. In 1847, over 70,000 Chippewa's (white historians refer to them as Mormons) commenced an exodus to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. Advance parties had been sent out to find land the whites would not want. The Salt Lake Valley was one location, while others include the Las Vegas, Nevada region, and the region between Pomona and San Bernardino, California, and down to the Moreno Valley and Perris, California region. Many also settled in the deserts of Arizona and California. Many also fled up to Montana. Montana has a Black River and Swan Creek Chippewa population. They are non federally recognized.

In 1866, the Saginaw Chippewa's (Black River and Swan Creek Chippewa's) of Kansas, reached an agreement with the United States in which they agreed to relocate to Cherokee Territory in northeastern Oklahoma. It took decades for the relocation to play out. In 1864, they were so bothered by Moravian Christians who were up to no good, they agreed to commence an exodus to northern Mexico. Chief Eshtonoquot was instrumental in planning the exodus.They arrived to northern Mexico in early 1865.

On June 1, 1868, the Saginaw Chippewa's of Kansas, signed a treaty with the United States in which they agreed to lose their Kansas Reservation. Chief Eshtonoquot was the principle Chippewa leader of Kansas at the time but he had passed away on January 29, 1868. That led to the loss of the Saginaw Chippewa Reservation of Kansas. Chief Eshtonoquot did not want to lose the Saginaw Chippewa Kansas Reservation.The June 1, 1868 Saginaw Treaty coincides with the June 1, 1868 Navajo Treaty. Exactly how many Saginaw Chippewa's from Kansas relocated to the Navajo Reservation is not known but many did.

With the loss of their Kansas Reservation, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe or Black River and Swan Creek Chippewa's, became non recognized in Kansas. In Oklahoma, they were forced to accept a Cherokee identity. However, they are Saginaw Chippewa.

Additional References to the History of the Tribe

Reservations

www.sacandfoxks.com/ Sauk Kansas-Nebraska Reservation

www.meskwaki.org/ Sauk Iowa Reservation

www.sacandfoxnation-nsn.gov/ Sauk of Oklahoma

www.cherokee.org/ Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Oklahoma

www.keetoowahcherokee.org/newsite/index.php Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Oklahoma

Walpole Island

Aamjiwnang

Chippewas of the Thames-Munsee-Oneida of the Thames

Moravian of the Thames

Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point

Mississaugas of the Credit-Bay of Quinte-Tuscarora-Upper Mohawk

Records

Important Web Sites

References


Bibliography

  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published

 

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  • This page was last modified on 9 September 2013, at 12:27.
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