Looking into the history of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Not far outside the Victorian port city, you’ll find one of Michigan’s favorite gaming destinations, Little River Casino Resort. Located at the intersection of US 31 and scenic M-22, Little River offers over 1,500 slots, BINGO, and a variety of table games 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The casino also offers three restaurants, over 90 spaces in its RV Park, and 292 spacious rooms in its northern lodge hotel.

In 1999, the first Little River Casino site opened its doors (the original building is still utilized for administrative offices just next door to the current casino site). In 2002 the first phase of the current casino was opened to the public with an expanded slot floor and hotel. By 2007, Little River realized its full design with the latest expansion that included the Makwa Endaat event center, expansion of its restaurants and hotel, and the inclusion of a fantastic winter garden under a beautiful pyramid of glass.

Little River Casino Resort is a wholly owned enterprise of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) is a Native Sovereign Nation based in Manistee, Michigan.

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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 descended 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 and Manistee. The Little River Band of Ottawa moved to the eastern shore of Lake 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.

In 1836 the tribe’s 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.

On September 21, 1994 the federal government recognized the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians as a sovereign nation. Today, Little River Casino Resort continues to be one of the tribe’s primary sources of revenue to support the preservation of its culture and traditional practices.

Following execution of a treaty in 1855, 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.

On September 21, 1994 the federal government recognized the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians as a sovereign nation. Today, Little River Casino Resort continues to be one of the tribe’s primary sources of revenue to support the preservation of its culture and traditional practices.

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Little River is one of Michigan’s premier entertainment destinations. The casino offers over 1,500 of the latest slot machines with a few old favorites thrown in for good measure. Special promotions and bonus programs keep the action alive on the floor, 24 hours a day. Additionally, a wide assortment of popular table games is included, such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and more. In 2011, a poker room was reestablished, with Texas Hold ‘Em and other poker games featured daily.

If you’re visiting the area for the weekend, Little River has you covered. Their hotel offers 292 comfortable rooms in a variety of options and lots of amenities, such as free WiFi access, a pool and sauna, fitness room, and room service. Their three restaurants offer something for every taste. Shuttle services are also available for many of the area’s hotels.

Their event center features national headlining entertainment, and has played host to Bobby Vinton, Howie Mandel, Neal McCoy, Tommy James, and many more. Check their website for an upcoming schedule of entertainers.

If you’re planning a retreat or conference for your company, Little River has a full complement of conference and event space available. Weddings and receptions can also be catered to any whim.

If you’re looking for a good reason to visit Manistee County, apart from the gorgeous beaches, beautiful forests, and small-town charm, Little River Casino Resort certainly has a lot to offer. For more information, you can call Little River at 866-4-MORE-FUN (866-466-7338), visit their website www.lrcr.com, or like or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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