1900 : Burt Lake Burn Out (Native American Injustice)

October 15, 2018 all-day

Burt Lake Indian Village, 1890

The Burt Lake Burn-Out was a forced relocation of the Burt Lake Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians in northern Michigan’s “Tip of the Mitt” region on 15 October 1900. On that day a sheriff and his deputies burned down the band’s village at the behest of a local land developer who claimed to have purchased the village land parcels for back taxes. The event has been since labeled: “A Bitter Memory,” “A Shameful Past,” or “Legalized Arson.”

Professional research by Dr. Richard White, Stanford University, Dr. George Cornell, Michigan State University, and Dr. Alice Littlefied, Central Michigan University, has shown that it was all of these things and was allowed to happen as a result of the state and federal government officials’ inclination to either misinterpret, forget, or deny the written treaty language of the 1830s and 1850s, in the agreements between Washington, D.C and the Michigan based Burt Lake Band of Ottawa Indians.

Sources :

Burt Lake Burn Out wikipedia entry.

Patrick Sullivan, “Burnout”, Northern Express, March 23rd, 2015.

Eric Hemenway, “The Burt Lake Burn-Out”, Michigan History, January/February 2016.

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