LANSING, Mich., March 3, 2022 – State Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids) announced the introduction of a resolution urging the U.S. Department of the Interior to approve the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians’ petition for federal recognition.
The tribe’s petition has been on the “active consideration list” since 2013, and the petition was awaiting a final review, the last step in the process, before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay.
“The Grand River Bands has historic ties to West Michigan and an amazing history as a Native American tribe in our state. Its members deserve the critical resources that are afforded to a federally recognized tribe,” LaGrand said. “I call on my colleagues in the Michigan Legislature to join me in supporting this important resolution so we can support the Grand River Bands and encourage the Department of the Interior to issue a speedy determination on the tribe’s petition.”
Federal recognition would allow the tribe’s members to access resources such as tuition, health care and housing assistance that are only afforded to federally recognized tribes. The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians is a native sovereign nation recognized by the state of Michigan with agreements with the federal government dating back to 1795.
“We are grateful to Rep. LaGrand for using his voice to support our tribe and honor our proud history here in West Michigan,” said Ron Yob, chairman of the Grand River Bands. “We hope the full Legislature will support this important resolution and urge federal officials to approve our petition as soon as possible.”