Alpena County, as it is now known, has a rich history of indigenous migration, settlement, and hunting. During a surveyor expedition, David D. Oliver (b. 1814 d.1908) encountered Chief Mich-e-ke-wis (b. Unknown d.1853), one of the leaders of the area’s indigenous population. Prior to Oliver’s arrival, other white business people had attempted to settle in the area but were reportedly chased away by the local indigenous peoples, who were known to have pro-British sentiments. Although written records are scarce, some of the earliest accounts of indigenous peoples in the region date back to Minavavana’s speech in 1763.
The Treaty of Washington D.C. (1836) and the Treaty of Saginaw (1819) played a crucial role in the formation of Michigan becoming a state and for the beginning of Alpena, then the village of Fremont. To learn more about the treaties click on this link. Map courtesy of the Michigan History Center
- An Anishinaabe Resource Manual meant to accompany the State of Michigan Social Studies Standards.
- Highlights resources about Indigenous Peoples, and the focus is on communities Indigenous to Turtle Island (North America)
- The State of Michigan has available an online directory of organizations best suited for tracing indigenous heritage.
- This guide lists tribes and bands in each state, along with BIA offices that had jurisdictional relationships with them.
- The Clarke Historical Library has the most complete collection in the state regarding Michigan’s indigenous peoples. They have many online resources vital to researching indigenous genealogy and history.
GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL RESOURCES
- These records span the period 1911 to 1921 and pertain to indigenous families living in the Plans and several western States.
- This book retells the lore and history of the Thunder Bay area indigenous peoples of northeastern Lower Michigan. Stories were gathered by both Gerald Haltiner and his son Robert Haltiner, a local historian during the 20th century.
- This publication can be used to better understand Northern and Northeastern Michigan indigenous history and populations prior to Alpena becoming a lumber town in the 1850s.
- Vogel examines the roots of numerous Indian names throughout Michigan.
- A Northeastern Lower Michigan-specific series of magazines that cover a range of history topics from early pioneers to indigenous people.
- This series of magazine covers a wide range of Michigan-related history. Indexes are available in the Alpena History Room (AHR) to preview titles and subjects.
- The collection contains a number of Michigan-specific periodicals related to the indigenous history and archaeological findings.
Gruett, Philip. Indian Family History Collection, 1868 (Binder Copy)
- This record contains approximately 376 pages related to the indigenous peoples of eastern lower Michigan and their family groups. An index created by James Donaldson in 1996 for the Clarke Historical Library is also available.