Official Website: http://www.ltbbodawa-nsn.gov/index.html
Newsletter, February 2011: http://www.ltbbodawa-nsn.gov/newspaper/NewsletterFrameset-3.htm
The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBBOI) is a federally recognised tribe from the Odawa Indians. More than 4,000 tribal members still reside within the tribe’s traditional homelands on the north-western shores of Lower Peninsula, Michigan
Their official website is informative and culturally educating. It has everything you may need to learn about the LTBBOI tribe. Which stood out to me, was the paragraph “About Us”, in which it states:
“The freedom to be a part of a people who, with integrity and pride, still have and speak our own language. The freedom to share in common with all other Odawak the customs, culture and spirituality of our ancestors. The freedom we have today we will bring to the future through unity, education, justice, communication and planning. We will reach out to the next seven generations by holding to cultural values of Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility and Truth. We will utilize our tribal assets to provide the necessary tools to become successful, hard-working community members who proudly represent our culture. With these values we will move the tribe forward.”
There is a “Land & Culture” booklet available to read, their h
istory in detail, and what it means to be part of the LTBBOI tribe. It shows their openness to be understood. I think that many tribes are very much kept to themselves and are weary of outsiders. But the LBTTOI invite people to understand and learn about what they stand for.
I found their tribe newspaper on their website and was able to go through them as I please. The most recent being February 2011, in which the most recent issues affecting their people were talked about.
I think this may have been a naïve thought of mine, but I was surprised that they looked, dressed and had the same issues that everybody else faces. I had this vision in my head that they still dressed the way that Native Americans are spoken about.
They have a very modern way of life. The situations they seem to be facing includes getting a budget to start more construction type courses in the area, helping students make the right choices in their lives and finding out the most they can about recently discovered artefacts from their culture and history.
They have poems written in their original language to encourage those to remember their ancestry. As well as an advert for a language conference taking place.
They are just like every other community in America; helping with health care, education and living their lives as they wish. Their values of wisdom and love is shown through their respect for each person in their tribe, whether old or young and regardless of their status.
Another situation I picked up on was the fact that there are native Little Traverse Bay Band Odawa Indian children needing foster homes. But they need to be Native foster parents, so they can embrace their culture and carry on the legacy of their tribe.
I decided to focus on the newsletter as it held the most important recent events the LTBBOI tribe were facing and going through. They are just a community in north-western Michigan living as any other family in America. It was an insight into their lives and culture, really allowing outsides to learn more about them and tribes everywhere.