The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has a rich history, demonstrating strength and perseverance in the continued survival of its tribe, with the latest step to economic sovereignty being the establishment of Little River Holdings, LLC, an economic development corporation.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, a Native Sovereign Nation, is based in Manistee. LRBOI is the political successor to nine of the nineteen historic bands of the Grand River Ottawa people. The permanent villages of the Grand River Bands from which the Little River Ottawa descend were originally located on the Thornapple River, Grand River, White River, Pere Marquette River, and the Big and Little Manistee Rivers. Those southern bands shared hunting and trapping territory along the Pere Marquette and Manistee River systems and had close kinship ties to the northern Grand River Bands at Pere Marquette. The Little River Band moved to the western shore of Michigan, ranging from the Manistee River in the north to the Grand River in the south. In these village sites, approximately nineteen in all, the Tribe lived for many years.
The tribes’ 1836 Reservation was located on the Manistee River, in large part, to provide the Bands with a permanent home, which gave them access to important hunting and trapping territories on the Manistee River system. Following the 1855 treaty, the nine Bands from whom the Little River Ottawa descend, established a major settlement known as “Indian Town” on the Pere Marquette, near present day Custer in Mason County, Eden Township.
Little River Holdings LLC was formally enabled by resolution on November 15, 2017 and operational on January 1, 2018. Its founding mission is to provide a legal structure built under sovereign tribal laws to house the economic development entities, other than the Manistee Casino, whose purpose is to create monetary profits and tribal community benefits. Its founding vision is to seek to become the parent economic development entity of the Nation, acting as the direct link between related entities and the will of the Tribal Council and Ogema, wherein profit and tribal community-oriented businesses will be housed that are integral to the operations, financial, health, economic self-sufficiency, and continued existence of the Nation.