Identity and Life of Michigan Indian Tribes

Michigan Indian tribes came first before the white settlers. These Michigan Indians were known for occupying the place that is now known as the Washtenaw Country. However, just like in any other locations, Native American tribes in Michigan cannot be identified easily on the map because not only did they overlapped, they also moved a lot. According to Michigan history timeline, Michigan tribes were a combination of big and small ones. In particular, there were three Michigan Native American tribes that were hailed as the “three fires”, and they were the following: Pottawatomie, Ottawa, and Chippewa. On the other hand, there were also Indian tribes in Michigan that were smaller, such as the Sauk, Foxes, and Mascoutens. Unfortunately, the majority of the records pertaining to how these Indians in Michigan lived only started when the Europeans arrived. Michigan timeline showed nothing much prior to that because the Native Americans were really not yet known for keeping records during that time.

Early Life of the Native Americans in Michigan

Despite little information available, there still existed some records depicting a few part of the daily lives of Indian tribes of Michigan. According to some, Tribes in Michigan were known for being good in hunting and gathering. Their common targets include moose, caribou, deer, bear and small games. They were also into growing crops such as rice, squash, and corn. Unlike the Europeans, Native American tribes of Michigan were into wearing animal skins. Also, basic materials for their homemaking were mud and bark.Native tribes of Michigan had many famous leaders. One of them was the Michigan Indian named Chief Okemos, a Chippewa tribe. The Indians of Michigan were under a  constant threat from the white Americans who wanted to get hold of their reservations. Nevertheless, the arrival of White Americans in the Native American reservations in Michigan also paved way for the enhancement of their culture. In some instances, the changes were two-way.

Follows is how the Michigan Indian tribes map looked like:

Michigan Indian Tribes Map
Michigan Indian Tribes Map

Michigan Indian Tribe – Pottawatomie

Michigan Indian Tribe - Pottawatomie
Michigan Indian Tribe – Pottawatomie

In 1670, this group of Michigan Native Americans came into contact with Nicholas Perot, an explorer of French origin. During the war between the French and the Indians, this specific member of the Michigan Native tribes sided with the French people.As for the war between the British and the Americans the Pottawatomie Native Americans of Michigan took the side of the British people. However, as time went by and as their settlements become more and more threatened by the non-Indian settlers, the tribe finally sided with the other Native American tribes Michigan. According to accounts on Michigan Native American history, the Michigan Indian Tribe Pottawatomie was an Algonquian tribe that was said to be initially one with Ottawa and Chippewa. They said to have separated when they reached Lake Huron. Nevertheless, they remained connected with the Confederacy. As mentioned, the Michigan Indian tribe had a soft heart towards the French people. They were easily pushed towards adopting Christianity because of their readiness in accommodating strangers.

Michigan Indian Tribe – Sauk

Michigan Indian Tribe - Sauk

This Michigan Indian tribe was known for being situated in Green Bay, just below Fox River. However, they were first seen while traversing through the waters of the Saginaw Bay, Michigan. They were removed forcibly by the Ottawa tribe.At around 1650, it was said that the Sauk Native Americans Michigan had a total population of around 3,500 individuals. Through the many years of their engagement in the wars, the Michigan Indian tribe has also created renowned chiefs, such as Black Hawk, who has brought them to many victories against the white Americans. The people of the Michigan Indian tribe were good farmers, hunter-gatherers, and fishermen. According to accounts, their main target includes buffalo, which made them travel through many barriers.

Michigan Indian Tribe – Chippewa

Michigan Indian Tribe - Chippewa
Michigan Indian Tribe – Chippewa

This Michigan Native American tribe was considered as one of the two largest group within the pool of the Algonquian nation. Many accounts revealed that they were first found in the land of Sault Sainte Marie. From that, they were able to grow their territory to the huge part of the Lake Huron and Lake Superior. This group of Native American in Michigan was known for having around 10 major divisions with some of them being Betonukeengainubejig and Kojejewininewug. Looking through the flow of movement from the Michigan Indian tribe, they were from each part of the country. During the 18th century, they were exposed to the usage of firearms. With this new skill, they drove tribes away from their reservations. One of the victims was the Dakota tribe from Mille Lacs. Statistics revealed that the tribe reached a population of beyond 35,000 in 1650, way too large compared to all the other tribes during that time. It was only logical that many accounts were made regarding this tribe because of how much spread out they were in different territories all over America. They also made contact with many of the white population; thus, adding to their popularity.

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