Published on November 21, 2012 by Amy
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (or Wayekwaa-gichigamiing Gichigamiwininiwag in the Ojibwe language, meaning “Lake Superior Men at the far end of the Great Lake”) is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) band located near Cloquet, Minnesota. Their land-base is the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation (Ojibwe language: Nagaajiwanaang), located mainly in Carlton and St. Louis County, Minnesota, 20 miles west of Duluth.
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The former Fond du Lac ancestral burial site at Wisconsin Point in Superior, Wisconsin
Originally located along the lower-courses of the St. Louis River where the cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin now stand, the Wayekwaa-gichigamiing controlled the river access to the both the St. Louis River and the Nemadji River, both a major trade-route during the Fur trade. In the same area is Spirit Island of the “Sixth Stopping Place”, one of the former seven Anishinaabe administrative centers.
The Fond du Lac Band’s regional economic influence helped establish the American Fur Company’s trading post in what now is the Fond du Lac neighbourhood of Duluth. Two different Treaties of Fond du Lac were hosted by the Fond du Lac Band.
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is one of six members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT). The tribal government has its own license plates. In the 2000 United States Census, the reservation recorded a population of 3,728 people and in July, 2007, MCT reported 4,044 people enrolled through Fond du Lac. The largest community on the reservation is the city of Cloquet, although only the relatively sparsely populated western half of the city is on reservation land; that part has a population of 1,204 persons out of the city’s total of 11,201. The only community completely on the reservation is Brookston, at the reservation’s northern end.
The tribe operates two casinos, the Fond du Luth Casino in Duluth (profits are shared with the city), and the Black Bear Casino and Hotel on the reservation.
The revised Constitution and By-Laws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe were approved by the Secretary of Interior on March 3, 1964. The governing body of the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation is the Reservation Business Committee, which is composed of a Chairman, Secretary-Treasurer, and three Representatives: one from District I (Cloquet), one from District II (Sawyer) and one from District III (Brookston). All are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis with the Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer also serving as members of the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.