Baraga County Historical Society
A History of Tribal Gaming in Baraga County
$25,000 • Baraga
The History of Tribal Gaming in Baraga County examined the impact of Indian gaming and its relationship with Ojibwe culture and history in Baraga County and the State of Michigan. In 1982 the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community licensed the first Native American-owned gaming establishment in the United States that included table games. In the subsequent 33 years, Indian casinos have become common nation-wide. In cooperation with members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Baraga County Historical Society collected oral histories from persons involved in early casino development. The Society also did archival research that was used in creating both a permanent exhibit for the County Historical Museum and a traveling exhibit that shows the impact on the tribe, local communities, region, and the nation. Currently, there are misunderstandings of what the tribe stands for. The rapid growth of the gaming industry led to a shift in power relationships within the community. There is a racial impact on the tribe for seeming to have benefits that non-natives do not possess. These misunderstandings have caused ill will toward our local Native people. This project sought to show that where we are today is because of our past and to share the meaning of tribal culture and history.