Our story

The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians is a native sovereign nation with agreements with the federal government dating back to 1795. The Grand River Bands originally included 19 bands of Ottawa people who lived along the Grand River and other waterways in southwest Michigan. Most of the Grand River Bands’ current membership resides in Kent, Muskegon and Oceana counties.

We are a turtle clan and that’s our totem. Turtles hibernate for a few months each year and then come back to life. This represents each of our generations moving forward.

grand river band of ottawa indians

Mission Statement

To provide for the preservation of our way of life and the welfare of our people;

To promote and restore the harmony and cooperation between the Grand River Bands, and other Michigan Ottawa and Chippewa bands, and the general public;

To promote and preserve our culture, crafts and traditions by all means including the education of our members and the general public;

To coordinate and administer housing, economic development, and social service programs and to serve as a clearinghouse for information and mutual assistance on behalf of the Grand River Bands, communities and persons comprising this organization and through cooperation with other governments, agencies, and organizations;

Ottawa Family

To engage in any and all activities incidental to the foregoing purposes including but not limited to:

  • Identifying and maintaining a roll of descendants of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians;
  • Initiating and coordinating the necessary activities leading to the restoration and reaffirmation of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians as a federally recognized Indian tribe; and,
  • The acquisition of land and other resources necessary to carry out the foregoing purposes.

Tribal Council Members

Ron Yob

Fran Compo
Vice Chair

Jennifer Beatty

Phillip Cantu

Elmer Knox

Melvin Knox

George Lewis Jr.

Andrea Roque

Frank Wesaw


Currently our enrollment is closed. If you have any questions regarding an application that was submitted, send all questions to grboi.enrollment@gmail.com.

We are in the process of updating our mailing list. If you are a Citizen please send your updated address to grboi.enrollment@gmail.com.

At this time, emailing enrollment is the best way to contact someone with your questions. Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians staffed by volunteers so please be patient with getting back with your questions.