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Bipartisan bill introduced by two Michigan Congressional leaders calls for recognition of Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians

Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians
Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians

Michigan’s U.S. Congressional leaders are once again petitioning the federal government.

The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians Restoration Act of 2023 has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Grand Rapids Democrat, Hillary Scholten and Republican John Moolenaar would, if passed, grant the tribe federal recognition. An appeal with the U.S. Department of the Interior that now spans three decades. Since 2013, the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians petition has remained on the “active consideration list.”

Ron Yob is chairman of the Grand River Bands explains what recognition would mean for the GRB. “This critical legislation, which will give our tribe access to critical resources — such as health care, housing and education. We are hopeful Congress will pass this critical legislation to ensure that the Grand River Bands will continue to be an important part of the history of West Michigan for generations to come,”

The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians call Kent, Muskegon and Oceana Counties home. Its history includes agreements with the federal government dating back to the 1795 Treaty of Greenville acknowledging the GRB a native sovereign nation.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.