The collection includes mostly undated photocopies of materials generated by various tribal lawsuits against states and the United States (US) government in the collection. Some of the materials date back to the 1780s, but they are not originals, they are photocopies mostly made in the 1970s-1990s or later. There are some original reports and court records created during the time period of 1970-2008. The collection is rich in and dense in documenting Native Americans of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and First Peoples of Ontario, Canada, their history, culture, and relationship with the presiding government.
The collection is in original order. It is organized alphabetically by series by tribe or community seeking tribal status, reservation boundary (KBIC) case, tax case, or for hunting and fishing rights (Voight or LCO case) (105 boxes, 102.5 cubic feet). Within each series there are various subseries which may include: calendar documents (reference documents in chronological order), Cleland reports and reports of others (un/published), Cleland’s testimony as an expert witness, reference documents and/or un/published sources including newspaper or journal articles, books, maps, government reports, laws, land, legal and tax records, correspondence, business or personal records, excerpts from journals, diaries, and accounts, treaties, various US or Canadian court documents, miscellaneous and/or related documents, footnotes, project files, transcriptions of oral histories, finding aids, various types of maps, sketches, and genealogical and/or family charts. Some materials are bound volumes and others are oversized materials. Tribes or communities represented in the collection include:
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Wisconsin) 2 boxes (2 cubic ft.); Bay Mills Indian Community (Michigan) 15 boxes (14.5 cubic ft.); Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa (Minnesota) 8 boxes (7.5 cubic ft.); Forest County Potawatomi (Wisconsin), Notre Dame Project 4 boxes (4 cubic ft.); Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC, Michigan) 10 boxes (10 cubic ft.); Lac Courte Oreilles [Lake Superior Ojibwa]– Voigt Case 4 boxes (4 cubic ft.); Menominee (Wisconsin) 13 Boxes (12.5 cubic ft.); Mille Lacs Chippewa (Minnesota) 21 boxes (19 cubic ft.) (Note: Box 1 is actually half Menominee and half Mille Lacs Chippewas.); Saginaw Chippewa (Michigan) 13 boxes (13 cubic ft.); Sarnia [Chippewas of Sarnia Band (Ontario, Canada) who prefer to be known as Aamjiwnaang First Nation] 9 boxes (9 cubic ft.); Stockbridge-Munsee (Wisconsin) 8 boxes (8 cubic ft.).
Additional case and reference materials are found at the end in Boxes A-M (12 boxes, 9 Oversized folders, 13 cubic feet). These include: Box A: Bay Mills, US v. MI, 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box B: Bay Mills, US v. MI, KBIC Tax Case, KBIC Boundary Case, Crown v Sarnia, 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box C: Crown v. Sarnia 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box D: KBIC Boundary Case 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box E: KBIC Boundary Case 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box F: Saginaw Case 1 box (1 cubic foot);
Box G: Miscellaneous Unpublished reports 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box H Finding Aids 1 box (.25 cubic ft.); Box I: Various legal cases, acts, statutes, decisions in Canadian cases 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box J: LCO Case, Stockbridge-Munsee, Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box K: Crandon Mine, Menominee Case, treaties US 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box L: Menominee Documents (really 1 Oversized folder on shelf); Box M: Calendars, Reference documents 1 box (1 cubic foot).
Also included are 5x8 inch notecards (4 boxes, 1.5 cubic foot), which usually document in one box each: KBIC, Grand Portage, MI and MN Chippewas, and Voigt.
Lastly, nine oversized folders (larger than legal-size, about .5 cubic foot) include mostly photocopies of a wide variety of maps, treaty signers, genealogy notes and family tree, and land claims.
Materials were collected from a plethora of local, state, and national archives and historical institutions, as well as tribal archives, and various courts, both American and Canadian.
Abbreviations: Professor Cleland and his staff used numerous, and sometimes various, abbreviations for institutions, record groups and/or series names or other citations. Some of these were obvious to the processors, others were not. Many of these abbreviations are not identified in this finding aid. For example, enclosure is abbreviated multiple ways. These variations were retained during processing. Some of these variations are obvious and can be deduced by researchers from the materials.
Also, due to the length of the collection, a number of abbreviations and grammatical changes were implemented by the archivist.
The archivist also deleted: ["no reference" and "incomplete reference"], the, a, or an (articles) at the beginning of a title; Anonymous or Author unknown or a.u.; unknown dates, undated, ND, or n.d. and s.u. Marian also changed: Microfilm to micro and “and” to and; and abbreviated certain common words, as noted below, and the names of months.
Abbreviations used widely by Professor Cleland, his staff, and Marian the Archivist include: ABCFM=American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; AFCP=American Fur Company Papers; AG=Attorney General; ARCOIA=Annual Report of Commissioners of Indian Affairs; B or Bx=Box; BBC=Bishop Baraga Collection; BIA=Bureau of Indian Affairs; ca.=circa; CCF=Central classified files; CMU=Central Michigan University; CHL=Clarke Historical Library; Co.=County; COIA=Commissioner/s of Indian Affairs; Corp.=Corporation; Dist.=District; E=East, not eastern; encl.=enclosure or enclosed; GLO=General Land Office; HR=House of Representatives; HS=Historical Society; ICC=Indian Claims Commission; IL=Illinois; IN=Indiana; JL=Journal; LC=Library of Congress; LLL=Letters of Lucius Lyon; LRBO-OHC=Little River Band-Oral History Collection; Ltd.=Limited; MH=Michigan History (a publication); MHM=Michigan History Magazine (a publication); MI=Michigan; Misc.=Miscellaneous; MPHC=Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections (a publication); MN=Minnesota; MS=Mississippi; Mss.=Manuscript; MTRL-JP=Metro Toronto Reference Library-Jarvis Papers; N=North, not Northern; NAM=National Archives microfilm; NEB=Nebraska; NWT=Northwest Territories; OIA=Office of Indian Affairs; US=United States; PAC=Public Archives of Canada (National Archives of Canada); PAO=Public Archives of Ontario; PAO-WJLB=Public Archives of Ontario-William Jones Letterbook; Qly=quarterly; rec=received; S=South, not southern; SAM=State Archives of Michigan; TWP=township; UCA=United Church Archives; U.P.=Upper Peninsula; US=United States; UWO, RC-EP= University of Western Ontario, Regional Collection-Evans Papers; W=West, not Western; w/=with; WI=Wisconsin; WL, UWO-WP =Weldon Library, University of Western Ontario, Wawanash Papers.
Also, the original punctuation used varies. A few of the original folder labels were crossed out partially or entirely. These variations were retained during processing.
Processing Notes: Only a few duplicate copies were withdrawn from the collection. Several items which had suffered physical damage mostly due to mud or dirt stains or being badly crumpled or torn were copied and the originals were withdrawn from the collection. (The total withdrawn from this collection was less than .25 cubic ft.).
The vast majority of the collection was organized into series by tribal name or topic, foldered, and labeled before it came to the Clarke. Original folders were maintained in the collection. We endeavored as much as possible to duplicate the original label headings (which varied somewhat from series to series) in the Box and folder listing. Items that were not foldered were foldered by the archivist, and those that were unlabeled were identified and labeled by the archivist.