Published on December 27, 2012 by Amy
The Hannahville Indian Community is a federally recognized Potawatomi Indian tribe residing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, approximately 15 miles west of Escanaba. The reservation, at 45°46′48″N 87°25′52″W, lies mostly in eastern Menominee County, but a small section is located in adjacent southwestern Delta County. The 2000 census reported a resident population of 395 persons within its territory, most of whom were of Native American heritage. The tribe had an enrolled membership of 666 people, 344 of whom resided on the 8.5755 sq mi (22.21 km²) reservation as of early 2006. According to the 1990 Census of Population and Housing for Michigan, the per capita income for the Hannahville community in 1989 was $4,625, whereas the per capita for the state of Michigan was $14,154. Today they are one of the most prosperous in Michigan.
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The people of Hannahville are descendants of those who refused to leave Michigan in 1834 during the great Indian removal.
They lived with the Menominee in Northern Wisconsin, and the Ojibwe and Ottawa people in Canada. In 1853, some returned to Michigan. It was at this time they settled along the Big Cedar River, on Lake Michigan.
Methodist Church records report that Peter Marksman was sent to the area as an assistant. During this time, he was credited with finding a parcel of land and moving the Potawatomi people to the current location. Some church records also report the Potawatomi people were very fond of Marksman’s wife, Hannah, and named their community after her.
Approximately 100 additional members live nearby and access services on the Reservation. The 12-member Tribal Council is an elected body that has been empowered by the community, through the election process, to act on behalf of the tribal members. Throughout the past ten years, the Tribe has been committed to developing environmental protection programs to ensure a healthy and safe environment for current and future generations.