Gov. Snyder

Our erudite conservative columnist, Dr. Lou Zako weighs in on a relevant topic with a historical angle – the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians v. Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which deals largely with the validity of a 19th century treaty, was filed several years ago. As the Petoskey News-Review has reported: “By asking a federal court to affirm its reservation boundaries, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians looks to clarify that it holds jurisdiction in a 337-square-mile swath of Northern Michigan. For other entities with stakes in the area, though, the scope of that jurisdiction remains a source of uncertainty. Some intervening parties have voiced worries about the boundary affirmation’s possible impacts for the tribe’s neighbors.

The case, filed against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in 2015 in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, will determine whether borders of the Odawa tribe’s reservation set by an 1855 treaty are still considered valid. The territory in question includes roughly the western two-thirds of Emmet County, portions of northern Charlevoix County and Garden and Hog islands in northern Lake Michigan.”

In his column, Dr. Zako notes how Emmet County and its various municipalities, villages, and townships could be impacted: “There is a concern that if the LTBB is successful in its suit, it will have ultimate authority over all the involved land area in zoning, taxation, and even criminal and civil judicial matters for both Indians and non-Indians.”

Read his interesting take on this ongoing litigation.