Photo courtesy of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Published September 15, 2015
HARBOR SPRINGS, MICHIGAN The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB), based in Harbor Springs, Michigan, announced on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 that the Tribe’s Natural Resource Department received confirmation of a gray wolf on its reservation land in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
The confirmation came months after the LTBB Natural Resource Department discovered wolf size tracks and scat while in route to rebait a camera station in the winter of 2014. The tracks and stride were measured and were consistent with those of a wolf. The tracks were consistently 4 ¾” long by 3 ¾” wide and the stride ranged from 45” to 53” (The stride is the distance one foot travels from one step to the next).”
The motion activated bait station camera also recorded several large canid photos. The pictures were also representative of gray wolves. The collected scat sample was sent to Trent University in Ontario Canada for DNA analysis. The Department received positive confirmation on Se. The sample analysis determined it to be consistent with a male gray wolf.
This marks the first confirmed presence of Ma’iingan on the LTBB Reservation after many years of reported sightings.
Ma’iingan (Gray wolf) is also one of the most revered symbols within the Anishnaabe (Odawa, Ojibway, Potawatomi) clan system and has a special status; wolves were commissioned by the Creator to walk with the Anishnaabe, and then separate.
In the Anishnaabe creation story, ma’iingan walked beside original man as his brother, as they traveled to visit and name all the animals, plants, and places on Earth. Later, the Creator would guide them down separate paths, but advised that they would be feared, respected and misunderstood by others who would arrive later. Culturally, Ma’iingan is an important representation of family, cooperation, loyalty and intelligence.