For years, the Jeffersons have gone on vacation to the Petoskey area in northwest lower Michigan. We've enjoyed swimming at Petoskey State Park, shopping in downtown Petoskey, eating at Legs Inn up in Cross Village and gambling at the Odawa Casino in Petoskey. And, it's a great place to stage visits to Mackinac Island or the U.P.

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians also think that area of Michigan is a nice place. So, according to the Free Press, they want the U.S. government to give it back.

All of it.

I've always thought American Indian tribes got a raw deal (and I know "raw deal" is too mild a term for it).  Apparently, in this case, the U.S. government set up a 50,000 acre reservation on the Little Traverse Bay for the Odawa and Chippewa bands in 1836. In return, the U.S. got 26 million acres of Michigan land. In 1872, they allowed non-Indians to buy land on the reservation. So, now the Little Traverse Bay Bands want that land to revert to reservation status. Property owners in the area say doing that would cost local governments their governing power when it came to zoning and business regulations. The chairwoman of the tribal council says it would not affect local business or property owners, but would, "clarify we have jurisdiction over our citizens within our reservation boundaries". As you can imagine, the property owners up there are a little concerned and (they say) it's affecting property sales. Gotta say, there are some beautiful homes overlooking the lake on M-119.

This lawsuit will take a while. Should be interesting to see what happens.

Here's the story.


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