Leech Lake Indian Reservation (Minnesota)
The Leech Lake Reservation is a federally-recognized reservation in Minnesota.
- Established -- 22 February 1855
- Agency (BIA) --
- Principal tribes -- Cass Lake, Pillager, and Lake Winnibigoshish Bands of Chippewa
- Population -- 10,660
The Leech Lake Reservation was established by Treaty of Feb. 22, 1855 (X, 1165); Executive orders, Nov. 4, 1873, and May 26,1874 and an act of Jan. 14, 1889 (XXV, 642). Leech Lake Reservation was probably established after 1862 and not in 1855. The treaty of February 22, 1855 probably recognized this band of Chippewa's district. The Leech Lake Chippewa's are descended primarily from the military and police totem of the Algonquin's. They are also known as the Pillagers. Northern Minnesota was vacant of white settlements until after the 1887 Dawes Act and 1889 Nelson Act.
In 1889, the United States passed the Nelson Act which was passed to specifically eradicate the Minnesota Chippewa Reservations except Red Lake and a tiny part of the White Earth Reservation. It led to serious problems among the Minnesota Chippewa's, especially the Leech Lake Chippewa's. In the mid 1890's, the Chippewa's were planning some sort of secret military uprising. The United States found out and had the Leech Lake leader assassinated. However, chief Bugonaygishig took over and the short 1898 rebellion followed.
After the short war the United States returned the Minnesota Chippewa Reservations and actually established the Chippewa National Forest which makes up almost the entire land area of the Leech Lake Reservation. Leech Lake Reservation is, thus, off limits or Protected.
Throughout the large Reservation are as many as 20 communities. At least 11 have official names. The remaining communities are located from just north of Cass Lake, south to near Walker, Minnesota. They are categorized as being parts of townships rather than a distinct community. However, nearly all have at least one area of a cluster of housing units which number from 10 to over 50. Leaders of the Reservation have to eventually follow their own rules and deal with each of these communities as a distinct community, instead of white counties having control over them.
They must issue a name for each of the communities and manage to financially support each one so they can accept jurisdiction over their communities borders or city limits. Sooner or later, these scattered Chippewa communities are going to have to come to the attention of the leaders of Leech Lake Reservation.
Throughout the Leech Lake Reservation are over 140 resorts which are owned by non Indians. And there are also many cottages owned by non Indians. The revenue generated by these resorts and cottages is mainly going to the whites. Reservation leaders must fight to receive most of the resort and cottage revenue. Most of the whites who live on Leech Lake Reservation probably are resort and cottage owners. .
Land Records: Allotted land: 37,683 acres. Most of the land is not suited for agriculture. The forest the Reservation now has is a regrowth. In the 1890s, the United States nearly used the entire forest of the Reservation for construction and other purposes. The Reservation originally covered 677,099 acres. Nearly all remaining land is within Chippewa National Forest. Over 212,000 acres is waterways. Compared with Red Lake Reservation, Leech Lake Reservation is probably a bit the worse off but overall the Leech Lake Reservation is quite similar to Red Lake Reservation. 
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- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
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- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
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- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published
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