Baraga and L’Anse
While Baraga and L’Anse suffer from stuttering economies, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community economy is on the upswing. Ojibwa tribal leaders here were among the first to profit from treaty rights that allow them to establish gaming on tribal lands along Keweenaw Bay. Today, the popular Ojibwa Casino and Resort (16449 Michigan Ave., 906/353-6333, www.ojibwacasino.com) generates millions of dollars in revenues and feeds much-needed tax dollars into the local economy. Other tribes have followed suit and opened successful casinos throughout the U.P. and the northern Lower Peninsula. Consequently, tribal governments now wield considerable influence in the region.
On a more traditional note, the tribe also hosts a colorful powwow each July, a traditional celebration of dancing and drumming. On the eastern shore of Keweenaw Bay, north of L’Anse, you can visit an Ojibwa burial ground from the mid-1800s, with spirit houses marking graves. These small shelters held offerings of food, provisions to help sustain the soul on its journey to the afterlife.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel