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Saginaw Ojibwe (Chippewa) - Michigan (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2017-08-23 by rick wyatt
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[Saginaw Ojibwe (Chippewa) - Michigan flag] image by Donald Healy, 30 January 2008



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The Band

[Saginaw Ojibwe (Chippewa) - Michigan map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Saginaw Ojibwe (Chippewa) - Michigan

The state motto of Michigan is Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice (If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You). No people can attest to the truth of that motto better than the Saginaw Chippewa. Located on the Isabella Reservation in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa are almost at the center of the lower peninsula, about 60 miles north of the capital, Lansing. The reservation of more than 1,100 acres is home to nearly 1,000 members of the Tribe. The entrance to the reservation is dominated by the immense Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.

© Donald Healy 2008


The Flag

Inside the casino is a showcase displaying the emblem of the Saginaw Chippewa and a photo of the designer, Julius Peters, a tribal member. The logo of the Saginaw Chippewa was designed in the early 1970s as part of a contest. It was first displayed publicly on a float in a 1973 parade. That logo has appeared on both versions of the flag of the Saginaw Chippewa Nation.

In the words of Julius Peters, the designer,
"This logo not only represents the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, but it symbolizes two very important people that had a major impact on my life. At the age of seven, I lost my mother. I then went on to live with my Grandfather and my Grandmother. The middle of the logo symbolizes the headdress worn by my Grandfather, Simon Peters. Simon Peters was a traditional man with old Indian values. My grandfather's headdress was made of Eagle and Pheasant feathers. The Eagle is a sacred bird of the Indians. He chose the Pheasant feathers for the reason that it was a beautiful bird to him. The top of the logo symbolizes the Yolk my grandmother, Annie Peters, wore upon her chest. She had once told me the floral design meant beauty and love. The acorns upon the logo were worn by both my Grandfather and Grandmother. They considered the acorns to be a symbol of Indian people. My grandparents had once stated to me, ‘The acorns are like the Indian people. Once small and new to the world, but with time, love and care, they will stand tall, beautiful, and mighty.' In a sense, the words they spoke to me are coming to be true. The once small Tribe that I grew up to know, is growing and prospering. May the Grandfathers in the sky look upon us and bless us. Therefore, the logo of the Tribe will always be a symbol of two very missed and loved people in my life." (Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Observer, p.3B, August 1, 2001, Mt. Pleasant, MI).

On the original tribal flag, the logo of the Saginaw Chippewa appeared by itself in the middle of a white flag. In 1999, the flag design was modified slightly. Arcing over the top of the logo was added the words “Saginaw Chippewa” while below the logo appear the words “Indian Tribe”. In both versions of the flag all elements on the flag appear in brown.

[Thanks to Chief Phil Peters and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council for donating a flag so that the design could be reproduced with complete accuracy and to the staff at the tribal headquarters for supplying information concerning the symbolism and history of the emblems of the Saginaw Chippewa.]

© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 30 January 2008