Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians: Preamble Excerpt



IN THE WAYS OF OUR ANCESTORS, to perpetuate our way of life for future generations, we the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, called in our own language the WAGANAKISING ODAWAK, a sovereign, self-governing people who follow the Anishinaabe Traditions, Heritage, and Cultural Values, set forth within this Constitution the foundation of our governance. This Constitution is solemnly pledged to respect the individuality of all our members and their spiritual beliefs and practices, while recognizing the importance of preserving a strong, unified Tribal identity in accordance with our Anishinaabe Heritage. We will work together in a constructive, cooperative spirit to preserve and protect our lands, resources and Treaty Rights, and the right to an education and a decent standard of living for all our people. In keeping faith with our Ancestors, we shall preserve our Heritage while adapting to the present world around us.

We have created this document as an act of inherent self-governance pursuant to the government-to-government relationship that was reaffirmed by the United States Congress on September 21, 1994 in Public Law 103-324 “Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Act.” The nine (9) Bands of Odawak who historically lived within and near Waganakising are hereby included within the term “Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.” The nine Bands are: 1) North Shore (Naubinway west to Escanaba); 2) the Beaver Islands; 3) Cross Village; 4) Burt Lake; 5) Good Heart (Middle Village); 6) Harbor Springs; 7) Petoskey; 8) Bay Shore; and 9) Charlevoix. The Bands are a single governmental body under this one Constitution. This Constitution shall supersede all previous constitutions and bylaws of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

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