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ERIC Number: EJ912986
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Logging the Great Lakes Indian Reservations: The Case of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe
Steen-Adams, Michelle M.; Langston, Nancy E.; Mladenoff, David J.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v34 n1 p41-66 2010
The harvest of the Great Lakes primary forest stands (ca. 1860-1925) transformed the region's ecological, cultural, and political landscapes. Although logging affected both Indian and white communities, the Ojibwe experienced the lumber era in ways that differed from many of their white neighbors. When the 125,000-acre Bad River Reservation was established in 1854, it contained some of the most productive forests in the Great Lakes region, making it an ideal case study to examine the forest history of lands administered by the Indian Agency. This reservation, along with other Ojibwe reservations in the area that became Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, was managed by the La Pointe Agency, now the Great Lakes Agency. This article uses the forest history of the Bad River Reservation to investigate why the agency failed to protect forest resources for the long-term benefit of tribal members, as directed by Indian Agency forest policy. The authors argue that forest conservation failed for four reasons: (1) upheaval of the traditional Ojibwe economy and transformation into a timber-dependent economy; (2) ineffective supervision of reservation agents by senior officials in Washington, D.C.; (3) collusion and graft fostered by an institutional structure that encouraged close relationships between the Indian Office and the designated timber contractor; and (4) Indian Agency beliefs that the forest-adapted Ojibwe culture should be changed into one modeled on white, settled agriculture. (Contains 4 figures and 85 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Minnesota; Wisconsin